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News From Westminster By Michelle Donelan MP- Lest we forget

Recently I enjoyed volunteering at Melksham fireworks display held at Oakfield Stadium serving refreshments. All the money raised went towards the Melksham Christmas lights, which are always fantastic, and I look forward to the switch on later this month.

This year marks the 100 years since the end of the First World War and with it 100 emotions – mainly those of sadness and gratitude. We lost so many men from our towns and in our villages in Wiltshire. We have so much to thank our heroes for, heroes from both the First and Second World Wars. Many of them made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom and democracy.

Like last year, I have spent time volunteering at Melksham’s Asda selling poppies for the Royal British Legion. Wearing a poppy not only helps fund a great cause, but also signifies respect and gratitude for our soldiers who gave so much.

In the last few years there has been much talk about white poppies, which are designed to symbolise peace. I believe they miss the key point, quite simply that our traditional red poppies do indeed symbolise peace – isn’t that why our brave heroes fought?

Many of those that went off to the battlefield in the First and Second World Wars were only boys who had never even left their home county, let alone country. I believe passionately in freedom of expression and belief, but the idea that our traditional remembrance is somehow war mongering or glorifies war is simply false – it is a time to celebrate peace and freedom and, most importantly, who we owe that to.

I have a number of surgeries coming up, as well as more informal opportunities to meet me and discuss issues – national and local. For more information please email Michelle. donelan.mp@parliament.uk or call 01249 704465.

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