It's a sobering thought that tomorrow is the very first Armistice Day without a single survivor of the Great War alive in Britain.
The last link with that brutal conflict has been lost. The collective memory of millions of lost and shattered lives has passed into history.
Armistice Day and Remembrance Sunday were always dignified events, as a nation honoured the sacrifices of its sons and daughters in two world wars, and in the many smaller conflicts since 1945. Controversy and politics were forgotten. Almost every family in the land identified with events at the Cenotaph in London and at ceremonies throughout the land - they had all suffered loss or injury on foreign fields, or in air raids. In our case, my grandfathers and great uncles endured the hell of the Western Front. The photos above of my grandfather Frank and great uncle Bert were typical of so many taken in photographers' studios between 1914 and 1918. You can sense the pride and fear these young men experienced before being sent to the trenches in France. They both survived the trenches, but Bert tragically died in the flu epidemic of 1918.
How bitterly ironic that as we mourn the last, modest heroes of the Great War, the very idea of remembrance should become polemicised, as the media grubbily seek to mock and condemn people for not wearing a poppy. As my father - a veteran of the Second World War - points out, how foolish is the idea that a footballer from Senegal should be expected to wear a poppy on his shirt as he takes the field. And how monstrous that newspapers should seek to stamp on our freedom to choose whether to wear the symbol of sacrifices made in the fight for freedom.
But we shouldn't be surprised. The Sun newspaper reached a low even by its pitiful standard in its exploitation of a grieving mother of a British soldier killed in Afghanistan. I'm no fan of Gordon Brown, but I believe he showed his human side in sending a hand-written letter to Jamie Janes's mother. For the Sun - the paper that is still loathed in Liverpool for its contemptible behaviour over the Hillsborough tragedy - to use this as part of its campaign to oust Brown is beneath contempt. The decline of newspapers may be a very good thing if the press no longer has power without responsibility - in the words of inter-war prime minister Stanley Baldwin.