I could not disagree more with Norman Kay’s suggestion that military parades should be ended.
As Secretary of Dursley and Cam Royal British Legion, and as an ex- Reservist who has worked with both serving and ex-serving personnel for over 30 years both in a professional and volunteer capacity, I know that the value of parades is much greater than simply a display of medals and uniforms.
For many ex-service personnel, suffering perhaps from trauma, loneliness or isolation, a parade is sometimes the first step towards contact with their ex-comrades, a service charity or the friendship to be found at their local Royal British Legion.
For the bystanders and other participants, quite often members of a much younger generation, it is an opportunity to hear stories of bravery and comradeship at first hand, to learn about events which will soon be history and, perhaps to take their first step towards a military career.
Uniforms and medals worn with pride and gratitude do not prevent reconciliation or future positive relationships but do serve to remind us of the danger of ignoring – and thus repeating – history.