The BBC has recently shown a documentary that was first aired shortly after Remembrance Day 2008. Produced by award winning film maker Morgan Matthews, The Fallen is a powerful and poignant film in which families and friends of those who have died whilst serving with the British Armed Forces in Afghanistan and Iraq talk openly about their feelings, their loved ones and their grief.
It really is a remarkable piece of work. Three hours long, it names every single serviceman and woman who died in Afghanistan and Iraq since 2001 alongside the individual stories and footage of the war and the servicemen going about their job. In doing so it not only shows the cost of war and human conflict, but the impact this has on the families and loved ones.
It is easy to make rash assumptions about war. Whilst the stark human tragedy is devastating it also recognises that for anyone joining the armed forces it is their job, their work. The stories from this film show how decisions these people took at an early age have ended up creating an incredible impact on a very wide scale. The lives of the people left behind are dramatically changed for ever.
I would urge everyone to watch this film. No one should underestimate the courage these servicemen make every single day in their work. The conviction and courage to do a job they really wanted to do whilst being aware of the potential and tragic consequences that could lie ahead.
Take the time to watch it and I can guarantee you will never watch the news and hear of a British Serviceman or woman killed in Afghanistan again without taking the time to stop and think.