Cambridge National Cemetery

This past weekend I traveled to London for a fun-filled weekend with friends seeing Twenty-One Pilots, touring Victoria & Albert Museum and going on Sherlock walking tours. I did not expect that I would walk in on something that would bring me to tears and give me even more of an appreciation for those who serve in the military.

Sunday morning I decided to take a walk and head to the British Museum. As I passed Westminster Abbey I beheld a massive crowd of people gathering around the streets in droves - I had no idea what was going on. As I joined the crowd, craning my neck to try to get a glimpse of something (yeah I know I'm short) I heard patriotic music over loudspeakers and then realized that November 8th in the United Kingdom is Veteran's/Remembrance Day. I waited around for a while to see what was going to happen because I assumed that I had caught the tail end of the ceremony, but I was wrong. As we sang 'God Save the Queen' the Queen's car, escorted by many police officers, drove down towards Buckingham Palace and ended what I thought was the extent of what the Brits do for remembrance day. Suddenly, marching music began and around the corner came these old men all dressed in their military uniforms marching to be honored but also show appreciation for their country. For those of you who know me, I am a very emotionless person and I do not get emotional very easily. As I saw the pride in their looks and heard the thunderous clapping I couldn't help but get choked up and think back to my Great-Grandfather Bamp who served in World War II and how amazing it would have been had he been here today to walk in this parade. This trip was my first time being back in the United Kingdom since I became a British citizen in August (thanks Mum!) and I could not have come at a better time. To be in my country while Remembrance Day was happening was so surreal and wonderful as it showed me that even though America and the United Kingdom are different, they still carry such pride and honor for their veterans and treat them with the respect they deserve.

Remembrance Crosses at Westminster Abbey

For the past ten years, I've been traveling with my grandparents on WWII bomber group reunions with my Great-Great Uncle's bomber group. It's been one of my highlights every year as I am not only able to honor the memory of my Great-Great Uncle who died in a B-24 crash, but I appreciate the sacrifice of these amazing men and women who give their lives and service to their country since I've gotten to know some amazing veterans through the reunions. Being in London and experiencing the military pride and seeing how the amazing men and women of Britain served their country struck a cord with me as I guess I just assumed that America was the only country who celebrated their veterans with as much honor as we do.

Pilot Robert W. Marx
On this day of remembrance in America where we honor our veterans and their service - remember. Don't forget the sacrifices they have made for your freedom. Don't forget the old man who is your neighbor and has no one to celebrate them. Don't forget your relative who died in war a long time ago. Most importantly, don't forget those who are present in your life right now. My thanks and remembrance today go out to my Great-Great uncle who flew B-24s during WWII. He has impacted my life in so many ways even though I never had the opportunity to know him. To my Great-Grandfather Bamp who served in the British Royal Air Force and even though he never talked about the war, he still played a vital part in guarding bases during WWII. To my Grandpa who served for 30 years in the U.S. Army and has instilled in me to remember and not forget. To my Aunt Aimee who served as a nurse in the U.S. Air Force and continued the family legend of those who serve for our country. To my Uncle Jason who served in the British Army during the 1st Gulf War and in Bosnia with a love for his country. My family has served their different countries in many ways and I am so thankful for them and their service.

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