British Ambassador hosts ‘100 year’ Remembrance Memorial Service
British Ambassador Matthew Lodge hosted a Remembrance Memorial Service at the British Embassy in Kuwait yesterday. The ceremony, which was held in the Embassy garden was presided over by Reverend Harrison Chinnakumar, accompanied by Archbishop Peter Rajic and Pastor Ammanuel Ghareeb and attended by Ambassadors, Defence Attaches, the British Military Mission, top Kuwaiti officials, veterans, schools and expatriates.
Remembrance Day, also known as Poppy Day, has been observed in Commonwealth member states since the end of the First World War to remember members of their armed forces who have died in the line of duty.
Two minutes of silence are observed on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of each year, the first minute for those who lost their lives, and the second for those who remain behind. At the Remembrance Service, HMA Matthew lodge stated: “We are here together to mark the anniversary of the Armistice on the western front at the end of the First World War. I am delighted to be able to welcome so many of our friends from across the globe: from Europe, the Commonwealth, the Middle East and the Far East. Today is about remembrance. It is a day when we put politics to one side in order to remember those of all nationalities, of all faiths and beliefs, who have lost their lives in conflict.
Servicemen and women, civilians and the innocent – young and old. It is a day when we recall the past but look to the future. We hope that our simple act of remembrance will remind us all of the cost of conflict and violence and the price that so many have paid – and continue to pay – so that we can enjoy our freedom and our security.” Leading up to the ceremony, the British Embassy played its part by hosting and supporting a number of local events and activities.
Over the weekend, staff and their families enjoyed a poppy picnic in the Embassy gardens as a way to get together, learn, and remember. At the picnic, children planted a centenary poppy garden to commemorate the ‘100’ years since the start of the First World War; they also had the opportunity to place crosses and crescents amongst the flowers. At the beginning of the week, 250 students and teachers across 8 schools in Kuwait (KES, GES, BSK, NES, TES, KNES, TEA, ESF) visited the Embassy and received a briefing from the Defence Section on several aspects of Remembrance which included: wars and those affected, Armistice Day, war poetry and the importance of diplomacy, emphasising the key role that Embassies across the world play in trying to avert future wars through dialogue, engagement and mutual understanding. The school groups were then invited to place their own personalised crosses or crescents in the embassy Centenary Flower Garden, after which they had the opportunity to take photographs to record and remember their visits.
Remembrance in Kuwait is particularly significant as the UK remembers the fallen soldiers who lost their lives helping to liberate Kuwait in 1991 – many veterans of that conflict are still present in Kuwait and attended the Remembrance Service. The UK-Kuwait relationship is a historic and strong one, and at this time of year, the Embassy and the British community more widely takes time to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice in defence of such a close ally, and the way in which these special links were forged on the battlefield.
Source: Kuwait Times