In the United Kingdom, the Sunday nearest to 11 November is commemorated as Remembrance Sunday. On that day we remember with gratitude those who have given their lives in war. We met in the Cathedral on Epiphany Island for a service and used a form of worship provided by Churches Together in Britain and Ireland. We listened to the Last Post being played then observed the two minute silence before Reveille. There were two brief passages of scripture: John 14:27 and James 3:17-18. The sermon is given below.
Despite the threat of Covid-19, North Korea held a huge military parade on 10 October. It was to mark the 75th Anniversary of the founding of the Workers’ Party. Around 32,000 troops practised for months in preparation for the parade, making sure they could goose-step perfectly. Mistakes are simply not allowed. On the big day they marched past their Supreme Leader Kim Jong-Un, shouting “Long live!” and similar loyal slogans and cries of adoration in such loud voices that they would probably not be able to speak the next day. Not only people, but impressive hardware was on display, including air defence systems and armoured vehicles. Most impressive of all were new ballistic missiles. The largest of these was in Intercontinental Ballistic Missile which was carried on a launcher vehicle with eleven axles.
There are several purposes of such displays. It’s an opportunity for provocation towards other countries that are seen as enemies. It’s a chance to show off North Korea’s military might, still growing despite the country being affected by sanctions. It is also a display of loyalty towards and pride in the country. Wonderful displays and uplifting slogans are designed to reinforce the belief in the people of North Korea that their country is doing well, that it is a great country with a great leader.