Two global stories have been consistently in the press over the last few weeks; the first being the extraordinarily vivid poppy commemoration of the First World War around the Tower of London, capturing our imagination and hearts; the second being the current tragedy for millions of people in Syria.
Like many other people, we have helped raise money to support soldiers, and their families today both to remember those who have died, and to support those who live. Like many others we have raised money as well for those charities working to give any aid they can to the desperate, to the injured, to the burnt, and disfigured people, women, men, and children like us but caught up in the Syrian civil war.
Poetry and letters from the First World War brings us to tears, films try to communicate the suffering, yet still, there it is again.
Highclere tried to bring together the ideas of courage and kindness, fortitude and suffering last August and look at it from not just our point of view but other’s people’s stories too. Please have a look through the centenary stories on the web site, read the stark telegrams conveying the worst news. The same black and white words are there today and the same sentiments for those who are feel abandoned as “strangers and afraid in a world they never made”. It is getting colder in Lebanon and there is little shelter or food.
Remembrance Sunday at Highclere church is one of my favourite services, the moments of silence, the prayers for others, the hymns. Perhaps we are fortunate because we have the time to look back with compassion and respect for our ancestors and thereby live with more compassion and kindness today.