Every November, we stand together in tribute to the men and women of our armed forces, who, for generations, have served to protect our country, and the freedoms we enjoy.
The poppies we wear are an enduring symbol of the courage, loyalty and commitment of our regulars and reservists in conflicts, past and present. They show that, no matter how much time may pass, their sacrifices, alongside those of their families and loved ones will never be forgotten.
My own family’s background, like many, many others, was shaped by the upheavals of the last century. My mother spent part of her childhood in a prisoner of war camp; and my father’s mother came to England after her family lost everything in the Russian revolution. So my brothers and sister and I grew up acutely aware of the value of Britain’s traditions of freedom and liberty.
So I wear my poppy as a tribute to our armed forces, who are always ready to put their own lives on the line to preserve the lives and liberties of others in need.
Our thoughts and thanks are with them, as well as with their families, friends and partners, who miss them, worry about them, and support them every step of the way.
As we fall silent today, we honour all of our troops who have fallen - at home and abroad - and offer our deepest sympathies to those grieving their loss.
We remember those injured military personnel, seeking to rebuild their lives beyond the battlefield, and recognise the invaluable care and support given to them and their families by the British Legion.
And finally, we send our thanks and best wishes to the British military personnel around the world, who will spend today in service.
Your extraordinary courage and that of all of those who have served before you is a source of intense national pride. We can never say thank you enough. Thank you.