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Leader/Times Column 11th November 2016

Today is Armistice Day, remembering the armistice signed for the cessation of hostilities on the Western Front in 1918, which took effect at eleven o'clock in the morning—the "eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month".  I’ll be attending a remembrance service in Barley 11am and I hope residents across Pendle will pause whatever they are doing to remember the fallen.  

On Sunday I will be attending five Remembrance Services across Pendle – in Barnoldswick, Barrowford, Colne, Nelson and Newchurch.  There are also events in Brierfield, Blacko, Earby, Fence, Foulridge, Higham, Laneshaw Bridge, Salterforth and Trawden, and I’d love to attend them all but with most taking place at the same time five has always been the most I can do.  In the past few years it has been really encouraging to see big turnouts at all the services, despite the occasional bad weather, as people remember those who gave their lives for the peace and freedom we enjoy today.  

Last month I was honoured to join the Mayor of Pendle, Cllr Rosemary Carroll, to launch this year’s Poppy Appeal in Nelson.  I have also witnessed, as I do every year, the amazing generosity of Pendle residents, whilst selling poppies for the Royal British Legion, seeing thousands of pounds donated to this very worthy cause.

Remembrance Sunday is always very emotional for many families across Pendle, especially the families of Lance Corporal Michael Foley and Lance Corporal Jordan Bancroft who were both killed in Afghanistan.  Both brave men made the ultimate sacrifice for their country and I know the thoughts and prayers of Pendle residents are always with them and their families at this time of year.  So wear your poppy with pride and whatever you opinion is of wars past or present we should never forget the huge debt of gratitude we owe to our servicemen and women.

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