The fight for freedom has never been more important, and now it's our turn, says Mark Dolan

Today is a national opportunity to remember the service and sacrifice of all those that have defended our freedoms and protected our way of life

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Today is a national opportunity to remember the service and sacrifice of all those that have defended our freedoms and protected our way of life.

We remember the Armed Forces, and their families, from Britain and the Commonwealth, the vital role played by the emergency services and those that have lost their lives as a result of conflict.

We will never begin to process the horrors that befell the courageous men and women that fought for this country, that fought for the world. And the many heroes who continue to do so. Courage, valour, sacrifice – no words are enough to sum up what they gave to us.

This is the moment of the year when we reflect on the values that we hold so dear and for which such a high price was paid. I cannot in all conscience, with this platform, not speak out, when those values are eroded.

Nothing compares to the horror of what happened in both the first and second world wars, and in other campaigns abroad over the last hundred years. But everybody that has served, did so with a picture in their mind of what they were fighting for.

They were fighting for freedom, for democracy, for decency, for humanity. If we don’t govern by, and live by those values, it was all for nothing.

The botched Allied departure from Afghanistan last year is an example of the west rowing back on those values, and rowing back on the promise of peace.

Closer to home, the tearing down of statues, the re-writing of our history - the cancellation of our culture – books, comedy, music and art - and the policing of our words and thoughts, are an attack on those values, for which so many fought.

And apparently Winston Churchill, the man who defeated history’s worst monster Hitler, is now a bad man apparently, and someone of whom we should be ashamed not proud.

It’s my view that to demonise, not thank this man, is a profound sin, but it shows how far we have come. In both wars, we saw off tyrannical states, but have witnessed in the west, state tyranny on its own people, through vaccine and mask mandates, and the mediaeval policy of lockdowns.

I'd love to know what those who fought in two world wars, would think about some aspects of our current society.

And what would those in the trenches, battling trench foot and dodging bullets from the Hun, make of Covid hysteria. Pathetic. Britain is still great, thanks to those brave men and women. But I'm not sure whether this torn, divided and in some quarters self-hating country, would be one they recognise.

Dark illiberal forces are at play to destroy everything that makes this Britain great. Those who fell, who sacrificed everything, and who we remember today, have left us a legacy, they gave us a gift.

The only way we can repay them, is to preserve that gift, to nurture it and hand it over, in tact, to future generations.

The fight for freedom has never been more important, and now it's our turn.