In a series of blogs to mark Remembrance and 100 years of women in the Armed Forces we ask 'what does Remembrance mean to you?' Former WRAF servicewoman Marie Kearney tells us what it means to her to take part in Remembrance Day commemorations.
I joined the RAF when I was 17 and a half, my parents had to agree for me to join but I'd always wanted to since I was younger. I had fallen in love with the RAF via my older sister's boyfriend who arrived one Sunday in his RAF Police uniform. In time I fell out of love with him, but my passion for the RAF remained.
I have served all over the UK and in RAF Germany and the Falkland Islands after completing my trade training as an assistant air traffic controller. As a WRAF in the 70s and 80s there were some stations where I was the only serving WRAF.
After 22 years in the RAF for me, Remembrance Day first of all is a day of reflection, reflecting on how I served my country, what I have done in the past. The Remembrance part of it is remembering those who have gone before me, those who served and gave the ultimate sacrifice so I could serve.
If they had not given up their lives for our freedom, we would not have been able to serve. I think also of my family, my Dad Patrick Kearney, who served in the Army and served in in France building floating docks at Arromanches during the Second World War and went on to serve in Arnhem and Russia at great personal cost.
I also think about my Uncle Billy, William Nolan who was a Japanese prisoner of war. They are both my heroes.
I am grateful to all those who served their country before me, those who gave their lives so we could live in freedom. I am grateful for what they did for us, so thankful.
This Remembrance Day I will be marching with the Royal Green Jackets in Sunderland, which is quite an honour and next year I plan to volunteer to march at the Cenotaph in London with WRAF Veterans for the RAF's 100th birthday.
Marie is a volunteer for a veteran's support centre in her local community of Worcester and is a supporter and fundraiser for the RAF Benevolent Fund.