We must remember those who made ultimate sacrifice

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Mine is the first generation in my immediate family in which nobody served in our country’s armed forces.

My grandmother lost her father and two brothers in the First World War.

My grandfather was a commander in the Royal Navy. My father served in the Rifle Brigade in the closing months of the Second World War.

For those of us who have not known war, it is easy to lose sight of its place in the lives of almost every generation that went before.

That is why Remembrance Sunday is so important.

Taking part in the processions and church services to commemorate those who died is one of the most humbling parts of my job as a Member of Parliament.

As I think about those whose service to their country involved the ultimate sacrifice, I feel a proper sense of how small my own contribution to public service is. Earlier this week, I visited the Field of Remembrance outside Westminster Abbey.

Like a miniature version of the war graves in Flanders, this memorial is both impressive and intimate.

This year, I will spend Remembrance Sunday in Stamford so I will have to wait until 2012 to witness the magnificent sound and sight of the packed pews of St Wulfram’s singing with one voice.

My partner is from Israel and only moved to the UK in February.

When he saw people wearing red poppies a week ago, he asked me what they were for and I told him that it was our way of remembering those who died so that we may live in freedom.

The next day he pinned a red poppy to his jacket.

At work, someone asked him, “But you’re not British. Why are you wearing one?” To which he replied: “I fought for my country. I want to show respect to those who did this for you.”

Nick Boles MP