Lest We Forget … what they died for

West Indies RegimentI always find it difficult remembering 11 November, for lots of reasons which others no doubt share.

I was born in Liverpool, am Northern English through and through and have been known to be a passionate Brit at times.

But, many people like me and especially those younger don’t always know how to or indeed acknowledge Remembrance Day since the end of the First World War not because they don’t support it but because they feel they don’t fit in.

There are many black, Asian and mixed-race Britons who are made to feel excluded by the antics of organisations such as Britain First, who often use minorities as a reason for stirring up hate – you know, Muslims burning poppies, immigrants getting war heroes pensions and so forth.

But then, I as a British ethnic minority person have to take the moral high ground and remember that Britain First and the likes do not speak for the British nation.

As a writer and advocate, I strive to do my bit to help eradicate all forms of discrimination in my country and beyond which those soldiers in the past did paying the greatest price with their lives.

When far-right groups like Britain First use November 11 to stir up hate and division within the UK, I and others like me should remember that both British and Commonwealth soldiers died fighting racism.

Commonwealth soldiers from the Caribbean and elsewhere, died in their thousands.

Brown faces, fighting along with white.

The total number of Commonwealth war dead during WWI being 979,498, greater than the entire combined populations of the two Northern English cities I’ve lived in – Liverpool, and Manchester.

If these brothers-in-arms would have failed, what would the United Kingdom be like now?

Britain and her allies defeated racism, and I can only hope that we don’t tolerate it again.

I’m always mindful that, if it had not been for the soldiers of the past, my being may not have happened.

My mum and dad meeting in Liverpool, would have been a non-starter under a fascist regime.

So, when you share posts by Britain First – remember, what others have sacrificed to rid our society of such hate. We owe it to them, to live free from racism and all other forms of discrimination.

There are race problems in the UK, and much work needs to be done to make Britain a fairer place.

But, this should not be to the detriment of forgetting those who never came home.

It was them, who prevented the demise of others.

Lest We Forget … what they died for.

Take care, Max x.