As we mark Remembrance Sunday across cities, towns, and villages of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, people of all ages will hold two minutes silence to remember those who gave their lives for the freedom we enjoy today. It is a moment when the generations are united.
It is also a moment to think about the men and women of our Armed Forces who are – even as I write this – serving our country and risking their lives around the world.
I saw for myself again this year, visiting Afghanistan, the incredible service shown by our troops. They perform that service with a profound sense of duty: brave, loyal and with the best spirit you could imagine.
On that visit I met men and women who wake up every single morning to do the most challenging and dangerous work.
Whether our armed forces are working in bomb disposal, training Afghan police, or helping to earn the trust of local people, I have nothing but respect and admiration for the bravery that they show every day: they give their all in the toughest conditions.
I want also to acknowledge the unique and special contribution made by the families of those who serve. They too make sacrifices and it is right that we pay tribute to their incredible commitment.
Remembrance Sunday is also a moment when we remember those who have been lost, in current conflicts and previous ones. Showing our gratitude to them, and standing in sorrow with their families.
It is greatly to the credit of our nation that the wearing of poppies has become so universal in recent years. It is a sign that respect for the sacrifice of our forces crosses all walks of life, all political allegiances, all viewpoints about different conflicts in the world.
And I want to take this opportunity to pay a personal tribute to the fantastic volunteers from the Royal British Legion who work incredibly hard all year round to support our veterans.
Today, we will be a country united in remembrance for the men and women of our forces. We will never forget their service, we will always respect them.