At the going down of the sun and in the morning we will remember them. We will remember them because they gave their own lives for the sake of others. We will teach our children to remember them because generations are inextricably linked; even though our children were not alive in either World War they can truly say these people died for me.
When we say ‘we will remember them’ we intend that they will be remembered long after we have gone; we place an obligation on our grandchildren and great grandchildren, even on those yet to be born, not to forget.
We remember too God’s kindness to us as a nation. We make no claim for our own innocence when we say that God brought down some nations and raised up others. We take nothing away from the bravery and sacrifice of our fathers and mothers when we say that it was the Father of the Lord Jesus who gave us victory and peace and prosperity.
The people of Israel were commanded to keep alive, down through the generations, the memory of all that God had done for them. “I will utter hidden things, things from of old – what we have heard and known, what our fathers have told us. We will not hide them from their children; we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, his power, and the wonders he has done” (Psalm 78:2-4). They placed an obligation on their children to teach those yet to be born about the Lord. They feared the rise of “a stubborn and rebellious generation, whose hearts were not loyal to God, whose spirits were not faithful to him” (Psalm 78:8).
It is a tragedy when a nation forgets its heroes and a greater tragedy when a nation forgets its God.