On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918 World War 1 ended.
Since that time 100 years ago we have publicly remembered those who give their lives in service on just one day of the year. We can do more.
The world we live in is and has been protected by those who make the ultimate sacrifice, those who serve and are maimed and others who become veterans of service.
As a gay man within a broader LGBT+ spectrum, I am able to identify how I choose because of the campaigning that has taken place in the free democracy of the western world.
Changes to rights have been enshrined in law because of the society in which we live. The world could be a much different place if it were not for those who gave their lives.
We could show more respect by using the rights we have. Voting is the cornerstone of democracy, whether it is in general or local council elections, a mayoral vote, or a referendum on a specific topic.
The gift of freedom and the right to vote are so often taken for granted. We have them and don’t know or think what life would be without them, or under a dictatorship. There are examples on this planet that might be representative of how we could be indoctrinated and punitively treated if the outcomes had been different.
Some casually dismiss going to vote because it is cold outside or wet or they don’t feel like it, and yet so many have died that we may have the choice and the chance to vote.
Whatever your political affiliation and whatever your view on the issues of the day, when you are afforded a vote it is your chance to make your voice heard and to be counted. The dead don’t have a vote, so remember and honour them by casting yours.
There are few occasions in the modern world when we are alone with our thoughts. One such time and place is in the booth of a polling station. It feels an apt and poignant situation to consider those who died so we may be free; so I suggest a campaign to add the poppy as a symbol of remembrance be added to all future ballot papers
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