In an unprecedented move, Michael Fabricant has written to both Her Majesty the Queen and His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales urging them to regard the Armed Forces Memorial at Alrewas near Lichfield as the future national centre for Remembrance on November 11th – Armistice Day. In his letter to the Queen, he wrote:
"I know you were deeply moved when you dedicated the Armed Forces
Memorial near Lichfield in October. On November 11th, I attended the
Remembrance Service at the Memorial and this was equally moving. The
sun appeared on cue at 11am and a shaft of light fell through the
slits in the two outer walls onto the central wreath. But it was when
a wreath was laid by a family in tears – an older lady, a mother, and
two young children – on behalf of a recently fallen son, husband and
father, that we all realised the continuing sacrifice that our armed
forces continue to make on behalf of our State and our freedom.
"……I would respectfully urge you to consider that in the years to
come, when personal memories of the Great War and the Second World War
inevitably fade, the new Armed Forces Memorial may become more relevant as the national centrepiece for Remembrance.
"Its mission to commemorate fallen servicemen and women since 1945 and
into the future, its location at the centre of our nation making it
more accessible than our capital, and its commanding position over the
southern Staffordshire plain, bring a personal dimension to the Act of
Remembrance which will eventually be no longer so alive at the
Cenotaph in Whitehall……."
Christopher Geidt, HM Queen’s Private Secretary who is the channel of
communication between the Head of State and Her Government, has told
Michael that there are no immediate plans to move the national site of
Remembrance Sunday from the Cenotaph in Whitehall. But Michael
"I am still in discussions with Buckingham Palace and Clarence House,
the home of the Prince of Wales. While I recognise the importance of
London as our national capital, I have suggested to Mr Geidt that the
Armed Forces Memorial could be the Queen’s focus on Armistice Day,
when it does not fall on Remembrance Sunday. After all, the very
design of the Memorial which features a shaft of sunlight which
appears only on November 11th, dictates that it be used on that very
day. I have also written to His Royal Highness Prince Charles; he is
the Patron of the Armed Forces Memorial and has been involved with it
since its inception. He also attended the Dedication of the Memorial
with the Queen.
"I hope that in due course, the magnificent and imposing Armed Forces
Memorial, built on the summit of a hill, will eventually become the
annual centre for national remembrance on November 11th on whatever day of the week that falls."
Picture shows a shaft of sunlight falling on the bronze wreath at the
summit of the Armed Forces Memorial at the service held at 11am on
Sunday November 11th, 2007. Michael can be seen third from right.
The other picture shows the Memorial upon its hill.
(Photos courtesy of Driftwoodimages).