LAST weekend Inverclyde’s towns and villages came out to remember – you will have seen the four pages of photographs in Monday’s Greenock Telegraph.

Remembrance Sunday is an opportunity every year to pay our respects and offer gratitude to the fallen and to show our continued support for all those serving in our armed forces today.

As time goes by and first-hand memories of previous conflicts fade, it makes it more important that we take this time to remember.

Inverclyde has given support to our armed forces over a great many years of service and sacrifice which still has an impact today.

You don’t need to be related to any names on our war memorials to know that each is a life lost to a community and to a family.

Future generations were cut short as our young people were sent to foreign countries to defend the very freedoms we still enjoy.

That sacrifice meant something then and by remembering we ensure that it continues to mean something today.

That’s why it is so important the news that Inverclyde Council has managed to become one of only 33 organisations in the UK to be awarded a Gold Award for its support for the Armed Forces.

The Ministry of Defence describe the Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) Gold Awards, as its highest badge of honour for organisations which have signed the Armed Forces Covenant and demonstrated outstanding support for those who serve and have served.

The council’s veteran’s champion, Councillor Gerry Dorrian, said it best about why we do this as an employer: “Our armed forces provide an invaluable service to our community and it is right that we show our support in whatever way we can.”

If many more local employers applied for this award, it will mean, at the very least, many more armed forces personnel being supported.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the many organisations and groups who attend the Remembrance Day services and commemorations each year.

Their proud display and solemn commemoration ensure that Inverclyde continues to mark this occasion and that the memorials in our towns and villages are much more than names carved into stone.

They represent the lives sacrificed during extraordinary times in our country’s history – as well as the determination and commitment of communities across Inverclyde to play their part in preserving our way of life. Inverclyde at its best.