Ni heneiddiant hwy, fel ni, a adawyd. Ni ddwg oed iddynt ludded na’r blynyddoedd gollfarn mwy. Ni â’u cofiwn hwy.
Ar Ddiwrnod y Cofio eleni, fel pob blwyddyn arall, rydym yn cofio’r rhai a gollwyd mewn rhyfeloedd ledled y byd.
Fel blynyddoedd blaenorol, byddaf yn gosod torch yn un o’r amryw o wasanaethau Diwrnod y Cofio a gynhelir ledled Ynys Môn, a bydd cynrychiolwyr yn gosod torchau ar fy rhan mewn deuddeg digwyddiad arall.
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old: Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. We will remember them.
On Remembrance Day, this year as every other year, we remember those who have fallen in wars across the world.
As in previous years, this year I will be laying a wreath at one of the many Remembrance Day services taking place across Ynys Môn and I will have representatives laying wreaths on my behalf at twelve other events.
Although with every passing year, we lose more of our collective memories of what it was like to live through the World Wars – either our own or passed down first hand from our parents and grandparents – the significance of Remembrance Day continues.
For me, the poem “The Poppies of Holyhead” written by Holyhead Councillor Ann Kennedy OBE, perfectly sums up the spirit of Remembrance Day and its importance to our communities:
Slowly they fall on our streets and our lanes,
Each one carrying a story, a name.
Joined together united in grief,
A blanket of red, a shelter from harm.
But through their green leaves
And petals of red,
There floats a belief that through sadness and death,
Lies a shimmering hope,
And if we listen to the silence of peace,
The spirits of all who didn’t return,
From Llaingoch, Kingsland and Cybi Place,
Waterside, London Road and Turkey Shore,
The Newry, Plas Road, Blackbridge and Llainfain,
Mill Bank, Porthyfelin and Moreton Road,
In the breaking dawn or the darkness of night,
Voices still whisper in the streets of our town.
These are sombre occasions to remember our dead, yet at the same time full of hope for the world and are co-ordinated and managed by dedicated staff and volunteers from the Royal British Legion. Their commitment to keeping alive the memory of those we lost is sometimes forgotten.
One of their local volunteers is Holyhead Poppy Appeal Co-ordinator Piers Beeland (Captain, retired). Piers is also Branch Secretary of the Holyhead Royal Welsh Fusiliers Comrades Association - part of the wider Royal Welsh Regimental Association - and has clocked up more than thirty years of voluntary service for the youth, army and veterans of the UK.
In September I was delighted to take Piers to Number 10 Downing Street to meet the Veterans’ Minister, Rt Hon Johnny Mercer, in recognition of all the work he does for us. Piers has also been working with myself and Minister Mercer to set up a Veteran’s Hub here on Ynys Môn and it is an honour to be doing this with him.
Piers and other volunteers across our island put so much unpaid time and effort into setting up our Remembrance events and this year my Parliamentary wreaths – which are non-political - will be laid at:
- RAF Valley
I stopped by the Royal British Legion fundraising stall at the RAF Valley Family Day during the summer, where this critical link to our current armed forces provides significant support for his work.
RAF Valley was established during the Second World War and is now our main forces presence on Ynys Môn. We are fortunate to have dedicated and professional people serving our country – in both paid and voluntary capacities.
At this time of remembrance I want to pay particular tribute to the Royal Air Force personnel serving at RAF Valley, along with all those who work at the station to support them. I send my profound best wishes to all of our military community, both serving and veterans, along with all those who have lost loved ones to conflict across Ynys Mon.
As we buy and wear our poppies with pride this Remembrance Day I am pleased that the Royal British Legion has, this year, produced a completely plastic free and recyclable poppy. These have been three years in development and are created from paper derived from renewable sources including offcuts from coffee cups.
The poppy symbolises the red Flanders poppies that grow on the fields devastated by conflict in World War One. Wearing a poppy remembers those who have sacrificed their lives in active service and those innocent civilians who have died in conflict or acts of terrorism. It also honours the service of our armed forces, veterans and their families, the civilians that support them and those who continue to strive for peace and unity. Every poppy bought contributes to supporting our armed forces communities and veterans.
I hope that you will find the time this Sunday to wear your poppy with pride at one of the many Remembrance Day events on Ynys Môn and remember those who died for the freedoms we enjoy. Larger events start between 9.45 and 10am and include a Service of Remembrance, parade and laying of the wreaths at the cenotaph or memorial. I am maintaining a list of local events on my Facebook page: www.facebook.com/virginiacrosbiemp.