Yesterday was Remembrance Sunday which, for once, actually fell on the eleventh day of the eleventh month, and while I was standing at Aspull War Memorial my mind began to wander and I started to think about the role of the soldier in a modern western democracy.
What is the purpose of the military?
First and foremost, defense of the Realm; to repel invasion and ensure that the UK's citizen's are free to follow their dreams.
The second, to buy the time for politicians to get their acts together, find reason and settle their differences diplomatically and responsibly. The military pay for that luxury of time with their lives, and at present it feels it is being squandered and treated with disdain.
The reality is that any conflict is ended once people of good intent sit down and start talking to each other. They may hate everything their opposite may stand for, but by talking, at least there is the possibility of understanding, and from understanding comes peace.
All it requires are the people of good faith to start this process, and until they are found, young men and women will continue to die and be maimed and hold the line, buying in the only way they know, the time for the rest of us to get it together.