Remembrance service in Abu Dhabi honours fallen soldiers around the world

Large crowds gathered on Sunday at St Andrew’s Anglican Church in Abu Dhabi to remember those who lost their lives in conflicts around the world.

Representatives from the Christian, Muslim and Jewish faiths, military officials, diplomats, residents, pupils and families braved the winds and rain to mark the day. 

Remembrance Sunday traditionally honours British and Commonwealth war dead from the two world wars and later conflicts. But the St Andrew’s service reflected the diversity of the UAE and remembered many other conflicts and war dead.

The Rev Andy Thompson, senior chaplain at St Andrew’s, said it was important to remember all who had been affected by war.

“Living overseas means we are part of a wider community,” Mr Thompson. “And many other nationalities will have lost people in war and have had family members serving in other armies.

“This year also marks the Year of Tolerance and that is what soldiers fought for liberation from tyranny and intolerance.”

The event is held every year on the Sunday closest to November 11, or Armistice Day, which marks the end in 1918 of the First World War.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Nahyan, who attended on behalf of his father, SheikhNahyan bin Mubarak, the UAE’s Minister of Tolerance, said the world must move away from the politics of division.

“Remembering belongs to all of us,” said Sheikh Mohammed. “We honour the memory of the fallen and pledge to care for the living. And we remember that our strength lies in diversity.”

British ambassador to the UAE Patrick Moody laid a wreath to the fallen during the service.

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