Early on Remembrance Sunday morning. as the mist began to lift in Marble Hill Park, I was struck by the sight of young stark trees adorned with poppies, a thoughtful act to acknowledge those who sacrificed their lives for our country.

As the annual recognition of the 1918 Armistice came around, the people of St Margaret’s began to ponder how to remember the fallen, bearing in mind the recent COVID restrictions. Under normal circumstances, parades would take place, and people would gather at memorials in groups, falling silent for two minutes as a sign of their respect. However, this year, due to the Lockdown, no parades could take place in honour of the dead, and so, across the nation people stood by their doors and fell silent together. In addition, people have also been trying to find and create innovative ideas of their own, as well as the two minutes of silence.

Rachel Morrison of the English Heritage took it upon herself to decorate Marble Hill Park with giant poppies. “This year has been a very strange year, but it has enabled us to reconnect with nature”, stated Rachel, when asked about her gesture. “We felt that an exhibition that took people away from their personal challenges to remember the vast amount of people who made the ultimate sacrifice for us was needed….We bought 897 poppies and asked volunteers to help put them up”. This gesture proved extremely effective in reminding people of our national heroes, and what they did for our country.

It is impossible to say what the future holds for us and our nation, and so we can only hope that there is light at the end of this dark tunnel. In following years, generations to come, will, across the country, carry on recollecting memories and images of the fallen and their families, as brave soldiers continue soldiers to put their lives at risk by serving our country today.

As we struggle with the hardships 2020 has brought, these stark young trees adorned with poppies, serve to remind us of greater challenges we have faced and overcome.