For your tomorrow we gave our today
(A short reflection for Remembrance Day)
When you go home, tell them of us and say, for your tomorrow we gave our today. (Kohima Epitaph)
‘For your tomorrow we gave our today.’ I have been pondering this epitaph once more as we approach Remembrance Sunday. Originally written for those who fell at Kohima, in 1944, I find that these words have a timeless edge. Fighting is predominantly a young man’s (and increasingly young woman’s) activity. The lives broken and lost are young lives cut short; promise unfulfilled.
It is right that we remember, with honour and gratitude, those whose lives have been lost or broken in war. But the Kohima Epitaph should challenge us to more than just remembrance. Many, and not just in military service, give their lives that we might live. In the final reckoning, what account will we be able to give to those who say For your tomorrow we gave our today – what have you made of the opportunity our sacrifice bought you?
Rev Philip Payne
The Notice Sheet for 14 Nov 21 can be found here
 Battle of Kohima, N.West India, Apr-June 1944; a major turning point in the war with Japan.