A poignant reminder

June 13, 2006 ,

RECENTLY I attended the Radyr Festival's commemoration of the Second World War, where I joined locals in remembering the lives given to protect our country and our way of life.

It was a poignant reminder of their courage, bravery, and sacrifice.

So it was an honour to attend last Saturday's celebration for Cardiff’s veterans - people who had not only risked their lives but who had served in conflict and peacetime to protect our freedom.

It was a privilege to join them as they received their Veterans’ Badges, in recognition of their service.

Roald Dahl Plas was full of military memorabilia including historical vehicles that were actually used in past conflicts.

At a reception in the Wales Millennium Centre I met a number of veterans from Cardiff West.

After helping to get the ball rolling for this event in the build up to Veterans' Day on 27th June, I was thrilled to meet constituents who were about to be honoured.

Everyone agreed that honouring veterans in this way should have been done years ago, but also that it was better late than never.

They had amazing stories to tell of their time in the armed forces.

One had been present in the Tower of London at the death of the only German spy to be executed by firing squad during World War Two.

He described the German as a brave man whose last act was to bequeath his glasses to him.

Another couple described how they had met in Cairo when both serving in the armed forces, and were still together all these years later.

Shortly after the reception the veterans were presented with an HM Armed Forces Badge in recognition of their service, and there was hardly a dry eye in the audience.

If you served in the armed forces up to 1959, you too should be entitled to receive a Veterans’ Badge from the Ministry of Defence.

If you live in Cardiff West contact my office on 02920223207 or otherwise the Veterans’ Agency on 0800 169 2277.