Soldiering On column by Scotty's Little Soldier founder Nikki Scott
In November our thoughts turn to Remembrance . Lee has been gone 11 years and I still personally struggle with this time of year.
It brings a host of mixed emotions and feelings. I feel incredibly proud to see the whole country come together to remember our fallen heroes, but I also start to wonder what the schools will be doing to mark Remembrance this year and how the kids will react.
My daughter Brooke started High School this year, so whereas when she was at her primary school, everyone knew her dad was killed in action and the school handled it sensitively, this year she doesn’t know what to expect.
I’m sure the school will manage it well, but it’s just an anxious time for her and other young people who have lost a parent who served.
It feels very strange because all the radio stations, TV shows, newspapers, magazines and social media platforms are talking about Remembrance at the moment, which has a very similar feel to when Lee was first killed and brings back a lot of darker memories from those early days.
Hearing The Last Post always gets me too, it sends shivers to me now just thinking about it.
I also start to think, what should we do as a family, when do I mention it to the kids, should we visit the grave – every year I am the same, I just never know what to do for the best.
I normally ask the kids what they want to do and I go with it. I think this year we’ll cook a nice meal, probably a fry up, because that’s what Lee loved.
Last year, on Remembrance Sunday, I went to London with 18 Scotty’s Little Soldiers members and we took part in the Cenotaph March Past. It was so emotional for us all, but we all marched with pride, honouring our heroes.
Sadly, this year, due to Covid, we aren’t able to do this. It’s hard for bereaved military families not to be able to attend their usual Remembrance services.
I’m backing a campaign to encourage people to do the two-minute silence on Remembrance Sunday on their doorstep, a bit like we did for the NHS. I think it will just show a sense of solidarity and it will mean a lot to families like mine to know people understand the sacrifice our loved one made.
I’m planning to lay a wreath on behalf of all the Scotty’s Little Soldiers families. I’ll do this with great pride wearing the Scotty’s yellow and black scarf that I wore last year.
We are doing all we can to ensure the Scotty’s members feel supported and that they know they are not alone.
They will all be sent a voucher worth £20 so they can take some precious time out to have a meal with their family.
We have also provided our members with a special Lest We Forget Scotty’s poster that they can colour in and display in their windows, and we are helping them with ways to remember their loved one.
I’ve been overwhelmed by the support I’ve received from the community in West Norfolk since Lee died, and the way Scotty’s Little Soldiers has been embraced since we set up the charity.
We have a November to Remember campaign this month with various ways people can pay their respects. You can find out more by going to www.scottyslittlesoldiers.co.uk/november-to-remember