“At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them”
And then the whole school hall fell silent. It wasn’t the 11th hour but it was 9.30am on the 11th day of the 11th month 96 years after the end of World War One – the Great War – ‘the war to end all wars’ (in someone’s dream, clearly). I was in the local church primary (elementary) school for my weekly whole-school assembly: children aged 5-11 and all the teaching and other staff.
We began with a lovely, lively song the children really like singing – called Song of Blessing. The repeated chorus expresses three wishes – nothing magical, but simple and beautiful – “And may we find God’s love/peace/joy in this school”.
We then read the the words on the boxes I’d brought with me – not love, peace and joy, but hatred, greed, selfishness, jealousy, pride and so on. Much harsher words leaving an unpleasant taste in the mouth. Some of the children built these words into a ‘brick wall’ and we thought about how it creates a wall between people and how these harsh words can be the things that lead to wars.
This led us into a time of silence – time to remember those who have died in war, and time to reflect on how damaging these attitudes and behaviours (hatred etc) can be.
Thanks to Scripture Union for the idea – it worked really well in a whole school assembly.
Remembrance-tide is now over: lest we forget.