Remembrance Speech Given by Claire
Bryan, School Captain – Maybole 2013
Morning everyone, I am very honoured to
have been asked to speak to you today,
on such a meaningful occasion. But, when
I started to think about what I wanted
to say, I began to think that perhaps I
was not in the best position to give a
personal reflection. By this, I mean
that I felt that I did not have the
right to describe any particular event
of the war, especially when addressing
such a knowledgeable congregation.
I really worried about getting a detail
or a date wrong, which to me would seem
just so disrespectful. Like the majority
of people in Britain today, there have
been members of my family who have lived
through and fought in both the First and
Second World Wars. But how could I, a
girl 17 years old, ever truly understand
what they went through? It is strange to
think that it was only around 100 years
ago that our country was at War on such
a great scale, I just find the enormity
of it all difficult to imagine.
We owe our freedom to those people who
gave their lives.
One thing that I have always admired
alongside those who went to fight, are
those who kept our country going at
home. Those who took on tasks they had
never experienced before and those who
remained strong even without their
husbands, brothers and fathers. That
togetherness and spirit that War gave us
is something I believe we need to
practise day to day.
It should not take a War to make us help
each other and work together.
like to finish my speech today on this
note. In February this year, my family
suffered the sudden loss of my
grandmother, Margaret Coleman. I am
going to read you a poem that she wrote
about Remembrance Day, which I think
gives us a very important message.
A Time to Remember
A time to remember, this day in
When petals fall and memories call,
Whispering winds weave through Flanders
Whilst sleeping warriors dream
of fists of flashing steel.
Young and old together stand,
Heads bowed low, wreath in hand,
Thoughts of love, of peace and war,
Remembering those who fought before.
And those today who meet their fate,
Through evil deeds and minds of hate,
We cringe, we cry and crave affection,
And remember the brave ones,
Who gave ‘us’ protection.
Remember them, remember them,
This dark November day,
While brave men find eternal peace,
May man find faith, and all wars cease.