WE HAVE just observed Remembrance Day, not just for those who fell in WW1 but also for those who fell in later conflicts.

The formal reflection at the Cenotaph is poignant, but it is by no means as emotional as the realisation of scale that hits one if you actually visit the war graves on the continent.

Wars are not pointless, but all wars are in some way a senseless sacrifice, and WW1 with its scything down of a generation by machine gun was particularly senseless.

A BBC report last week asked 'for how long this ceremony should continue?', and a woman contributor rightly answered, 'Forever'.

However, 'Forever' is a long time. Note that we no longer recall the fallen of Bosworth Field or the Napoleonic wars or Crimea, or Boer War victims, for example.

I think we ought to continue this day of reflection for those who die in our defence, all of them. So, I have a suggestion. Would it be appropriate to create Remembrance Day as a national day of mourning? 11-11-11 may lose its meaning in time as the two rounds of our war with Germany recede into history, but a national day of reflection for all who die in our defence, soldiers and civilians too, might still resonate 100 years from now.

And, just as it is on Christmas Day, this ought to be a day when commerce is encouraged to take a day off, to give us quiet time, not merely another day of leisure, but time to remember them.

Paul Newton

West Wellow