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Leader/Times Column 18th November 2016

I always think one of the greatest privileges as a Member of Parliament is to play a part in Remembrance Sunday services. This year I had the privilege of laying a wreath at five Remembrance Services – in Barnoldswick, Barrowford, Colne, Nelson and Newchurch. I had people lay wreaths on my behalf in Brierfield and Earby, which I couldn't make due to them coinciding with other services.  Thankfully we were blessed with good weather and high turnouts at every event - quite possibly the highest I've seen in the last 10 years.  

For many years people worried that as the generations who fought in the First and Second World Wars died, turnout at remembrance events would fall, so it is encouraging to see more people than ever pausing to remember those who gave their lives for the peace and freedom we enjoy today.  

It was also amazing to see the Barnoldswick and District Branch of the Royal British Legion Standard at the National Festival of Remembrance, at the Royal Albert Hall. The Standard Bearer was James Spence from Earby, the man behind granting the freedom of that town to all its Second World War veterans.  We also saw students from Marsden Heights at the Royal Albert Hall as part of a World War I project they have been working on with the Heritage Lottery. It is fantastic that young and old are doing their bit.

The price some residents have paid, was again brought home to those who attended the Armistice Day wreath laying in Barley, which was attended by David Plant from Nelson.  David served in Afghanistan and had both legs blown off by an improvised explosive device (IED) in addition to suffering other serious injuries.  He is just one of a large number of veterans living across Pendle, with both the mental and physical scars of their service for our nation.  We must never forget them

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