On the eleventh hour, of the eleventh day, of the eleventh month, the Armistice was signed, ending years of bloody fighting and bringing about the conclusion of the First World War.
Since then, we have taken time each November to pause, remembering and reflecting the sacrifices made by those in all conflicts since, giving their tomorrow for our today.
Remembrance honours all of those who have served in the armed forces, from here in the UK and across the Commonwealth, many who have been injured or given their lives to protect our country.
This year’s Remembrance commemorations were particularly pertinent as the 70th anniversary of the Armistice which brought an end to fighting in the Korean War, the 60th anniversary of the last National Servicemen being demobilised, and the 75th anniversary of the arrival of the Empire Windrush, celebrating the generation who helped rebuild Britain.
I was pleased that as always, Tameside played its part in remembering all those from our community who have served in our armed forces.
Whilst in Westminster last week, I placed a poppy cross in Parliament’s Garden of Remembrance, paying tribute to all those servicemen and women from the Denton & Reddish constituency.
I dedicated the cross to two Tameside veterans.
Firstly, Albert Hill VC, a veteran of the First World War who received the Victoria Cross, Britain’s highest military honour for bravery, for his actions during the Battle of the Somme.
Also, to Lance Corporal Andrew Breeze, who was tragically killed whilst on deployment with the British Army in Afghanistan in 2010.
Despite being separated by almost a century, both Albert and Andrew embodied the values of bravery and service and will always be remembered by us here in Tameside and beyond.
On Remembrance Sunday I joined the parade and service in Denton, which had a fantastic turnout despite the weather.
At the event, it was my pleasure to give a short memorial to Josie Neil, who was a fixture and fitting of remembrance in Tameside for many years as the Royal British Legion standard bearer, and whom we all miss deeply.
This weekend’s commemorations reminded me of the power the remembrance has, to bring our communities together.
At a time where so much of our politics is rife with tension and division, I saw a real spirit of unity, as we remembered those who have given so much for all of us.