War, or remembrance, stops for no man. Or the rain. A typically grey and wet November morning greeted this year’s remembrance services, and for me the location was Milnrow Memorial Park (near Rochdale), not Crewe for the first time in years.

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No matter where you show your respect to the fallen, it’s always an inspiring, thought-provoking and uplifting experience. People care. Time and effort are spent planning music, speeches, processions and wreath laying. Schools, societie
s and organisations join the public as one. I saw one young lady sporting a bright and garish dress. Not particularly appropriate, until closer inspection showed a blaze of gorgeous poppies scattered across the design.

We joined the marching band as it passed under the M60 flyover just before the park gates. The acoustics were phenomenal, thunderous notes adding drama to the occasion. And then the silence, the well-crafted words delivered by local dignitaries. They struggled to be heard, as the hum of the nearby motorway muffled much of the sentiment. Why can’t the whole country just pause, if only for fifteen minutes?

Then it was over. The thousand-plus gathered around the War Memorial slowly marched away, swapping memories as they walked under the park’s stunning Autumnal canopies and off into the distance. Just the poppies remained, ruffled by the gusts of the first Winter gales that threatened to rip over the Pennines.

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