As we approach the time of year where those connected to the Armed Forces whether that be through service, blood, friendship or just a profound respect begin to reflect on the sacrifice so many have given so that we can all sleep peacefully in our beds.
It’s extremely poignant that the Community Trust’s first Veteran’s trip further afield was to the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire.
The memorial is one of the most beautiful and emotional places you can visit due to the vast size of the place, which includes almost 400 memorials. It caters to all ages, and you could easily spend all day walking around the beautiful gardens.
Rick Clement, from the Community Trust, has a memorial there for his own regiment, The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment, and it’s a sight to behold.
The Trust, alongside the veterans, visited the Football memorial to remember the story of the English and German soldiers playing football on Christmas day during the war and the crown jewel is the Armed Forces Memorial.
A wall with the names of all those who have given their lives in the service of their country since the end of the second world war. Rick has four friends on that wall, four Lions he says he misses every day, which explains why the location is so special to him and others.
The Veteran’s group had a fantastic day with some of them taking the train tour around the grounds. This was a great way to relax and see the vast majority along with a pre-recorded explanation.
The group chatted in the café about which memorials had impressed them and how much we had enjoyed it after we’d all spent a few hours discovering what was on offer. After that, they all went for a meal together at a nearby restaurant which certainly went down a treat.
Thanks must be shared to Phil Bowker, who works for Fleetwood Town Community Trust, who was the minibus driver for the day and got everyone home safely. Join the group at one of our Veterans events to meet people and sign up for the next one. Alternatively, you can contact Rick Clement on 07949523089 or firstname.lastname@example.org.