But we remember all members of our armed forces who made the supreme sacrifice on our behalf of Gambia and Gambians. They paid with their lives because blood is the price that freedom often demands. So we pause, for two minutes of silence, on this Remembrance Day.
And in that silence, we remember the scores of Gambians who gave their lives serving in the First World War, the Second World War, the 1981 abortive coup, the Guinea Bissau war of liberation and the countless civil wars that have been plaguing the continent since independence.
We remember, as well, all those who returned from war, forever scarred, physically and emotionally, from its horrors.
We remember the grief of those who lost their loved ones in war, or saw them return from war broken and changed.
We remember, too, all those who served and were reunited in joy with their families.
With all those who fought in the First World War now gone, we honour their memory.
We honour the dwindling ranks of living veterans from the Second World War, and from every subsequent conflict up to this day.
We do this not to glorify war, for war is unspeakable, horrible, the last thing a civilised nation should embark on, even when the cause is just.
War is the last resort, not the first, and we should do everything we can to avoid war, save for those times when tyranny and terrorism must be confronted.
Today we honour all our war veterans. But we must not forget them the other 364 days of the year.
We must look after them as they age and see that the families of our soldiers who fell or were wounded in war are supported, emotionally and financially.
Not just on this day, or in this year, but forever.]]>