Ahead of Remembrance Sunday, Fiona Jackson, OA Career Consultant, reflects on what the Poppy Appeal means to her.
What does Remembrance Sunday mean to you?
Remembrance Sunday is a time for deep personal reflection. I always think of my father first, who fought in the 8th Army (The Desert Rats) in the Second World War. I then remember everyone killed in conflict, and it is the Passchendaele centenary so I will focus on the casualties of that battle. Finally, as a former Army officer, I remember everyone I served with, especially those who gave their lives to their country.
Why is it important to support the Poppy Appeal?
It is the least we can do to remember and help people impacted by conflict. It only costs time and a donation. In addition, some of the proceeds help to fund the OA, which means we can support serving and former officers, plus their dependants. I am always amazed by the British public’s generous support.
The Poppy Appeal theme this year is Rethink Remembrance, how will you do this?
2016 was the first year since 1968 that no-one in the Armed Forces died on operations. It reminds me how they willingly put themselves in difficult situations to make the world safer. Even recently, many fulfilled (and still do) dangerous roles around the world e.g. Somalia and South Sudan. I will think about their fortitude and courage.
Last year you attended the Remembrance Sunday service at the Cenotaph, what was it like?
The atmosphere was incredible! There was a strong camaraderie amongst all the organisations present. You march with people young and old, who between them had served in every conflict since the Second World War. The ceremony is led by the Queen, and you feel her personal connection to the military. I was amazed by how many families attended to support us, and it is important for young people to understand the value of Remembrance Sunday.