Now that the clocks have gone back and the long winter nights are drawing in, it is becoming increasingly hard to ignore the reality that autumn is almost past and winter nearly here. Of course, we are well equipped to cope with this. The British attitude has always been to party one’s way through the darker months. First there was Harvest, then Halloween, now Bonfire Night and, dare I say it, soon Christmas and the New Year will be upon us!
But of all the festivals and special days which occur at this time of year, it is Remembrance Day which is the most special day for me. No doubt this is partly due to having a Grandfather who served in the war and spent time in a POW camp. Certainly it is also due to having served Queen and Country myself. But more than anything, it is because I know many serving and ex-service men and women. I understand the sacrifices that have been made by those who often walk unnoticed amongst us. So I am therefore glad that once a year we stop and make a big deal of it.
Rightly we wear our poppies with pride here at Craigclowan and, when talking to the young people in our care, we don’t dodge the issue about what we are remembering but talk about it openly. We explain what we have to be thankful for and do what we can to support the Scottish Poppy Appeal in its work. We take care to explain that this is not necessarily a sad time but certainly a solemn and respectful one. Most of all, we ensure that our pupils understand clearly that we do indeed owe our tomorrows to their yesterdays.
John F Gilmour