9:05am Friday 11th December 2009
By The Editor
Having a son or daughter far from home is a worry for any loving parent.
Knowing that a son or daughter is in a country torn by war, in a conflict which this week claimed the life of the 100th British soldier in just a year, is understandably a huge concern that must be with family members and friends every day.
Christmas is a time when so many hope for peace, and recall fondly the tale of the soldiers in the trenches during the First World War calling a temporary truce.
Many families will doubtless have to spend Christmas, traditionally a warm, family occasion, without a son or daughter who is serving in the armed forces. Sadder still, is Christmas for those families who have lost loved ones in the conflict.
Otley residents Dave and Liz Stewart will happily be reunited with their Royal Signals technician son for the season of goodwill this year, although their concern for his safety will not abate until he is safely back in town.
Christmas will not just be lonely for those whose loved ones are serving in Afghanistan this year. Servicemen and women themselves, while dedicated to their duty, will no doubt be missing their friends and families over the festive season. Not everyone can be granted leave over Christmas.
Two local groups are committed to providing some Christmas cheer, for servicemen and women overseas this month, and for those injured in the course of their duty who are being treated in this country.
As well as having their own warm community spirit, it is good to see that the communities of Wharfedale are keen to extend their sentiments further afield to those who are doing a dangerous job, but who are far from forgotten while everyone else is celebrating.
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