HUNDREDS of people braved the rain to come together to pay their respects to the war dead at the annual Bromsgrove Remembrance Sunday parade and service.
A number of organisations took part in what must be the longest parade in the town’s history.
Among them were representatives from a number of organisations, including the Royal British Legion, Bromsgrove District Council, cadets, the emergency services and youth groups, such as the scouts, guides and boys and girls’ brigade.
The procession journeyed to the War Monument in Crown Close where the service was held.
After The Exhortation, two-minute silence, Kohima Epitaph and laying of wreaths, there was also an Act of Commitment.
In his sermon, Rev Ray Khan, spoke about the importance of ‘union’, using an example of the British people reclaiming the ‘Union Flag’ from right wing extremists.
He said: “We need to take heed of those voices that seek to divide us and dehumanise others.”
In a reference to words from Suella Braverman in the last week, he added: “It pains me the Home Secretary does not understand that.”
And he said: “The news reminds us that peace is fragile and human life cheap.
“Whatever position you hold, our hearts should be broken by what we see.
“In this act of Remembrance, we therefore also commit ourselves to peace and that is not open.”
He called on those gathered to ‘hold onto this naive hope for peace where we as a world have no more need for weapons and war.
“When bonds of love no longer need to b formed in the heat of battle.”
He concluded by saying: “Today we stand together, together to remember and not to forget.
“We will remember.”
There were further readings, prayers and hymns with the final ones being ‘Make Me a Channel of Your Peace’ and, as is tradition, The National Anthem.
Bromsgrove MP Sajid Javid said: “I thought it was a fantastic turn-out, despite the rain.
“It was a wonderful service.
“It was great to see people of all generations involved.
“And I think at this time, with so much conflict around the world – in Europe and the Middle East it was particularly poignant.”