That moment has come and gone and come again.
The BBC broadcast of Remembrance Sunday at the Cenotaph is such a mammoth logistical task for all parties that it can only take time to work your way through - only there is no time.
With 3 days to go, I was still piercing together the notes from over 262 contingents taking part, listing wreath layers, confirming live interviews and working my way through far too many chocolate biscuits. Of course, a lot can happen in three days. For 2 weeks I'd been in the office 12hrs a day. Because this is one you want to get right.
Not only are you working with broadcasting legend David Dimbleby, you are entrusted with the knowledge that for some of those on parade, it will be the last time. Many WW2 veterans are too elderly to walk the 2km route or stand for 2hrs, and many have sadly crossed the bar in recent years. A whole generation who fought for our freedom, will soon be lost and it is you who are given the knowledge of who is taking part in the event this year and who may not be here to see in the next.
Ernie said during the programme: 'I feel very humble seeing so many hundreds of men and women on parade today. So very, very humble. And I'm thinking of those who are not with us on this parade today and some of the fine, fine people I served with and we've lost them. But all I hope is that the future generations can see this parade, see some solidarity in it and see that the betterment of mankind, in England, especially Great Britain should be at its highest level'. It is hard not to realise then, how lucky we are to have heard from men like Ernie and to have witnessed the solidarity embodied by this event each year.
Speaking to Heather Wood, who lost her husband Charlie in Afghanistan it made me realise how important the good times are, how serving women and men like Charlie give their lives so that others might live a better life. 'Don't be bitter, be better' she says. And I have taken on those words in my work. I am not bitter about the long hours I've chosen to work because I know that to the 8700 people on parade and to those watching at home, it means something.
And that is the overwhelming feeling when working on events like these. That you don't want to miss a moment, whether it is a serving bugle major's last hours in the job, or a man who will march carrying the photo of a fallen comrade. Whether it is an injured serviceman who has defied the odds or a firefighter who won a gallantry award for placing his life in danger for the service of another. Or if it is the daughter marching in memory of her father who at 18 was on the field of battle in Italy and last month sadly left us, or a Falklands veteran who lost his friends on the islands and who plays his pipes in their memory.
|A WAAF wireless operator receiving a message in morse code.|
'When I am laid in Earth...remember me, remember me'.
There are men marching who survived Far East prisoner of war camps - remembering so many of their colleagues that did not. There is a captain from C Company, The Rifles who remembers the men he lost in Afghanistan and a Navy veteran who remembers the men who died aboard HMS Coventry.
For many, Remembrance Day is every day. And I feel the weight that falls on my shoulders to give each story their moment. We want to capture it all and of course, every year, we fail. Because every person on parade at the Cenotaph, in the hollow square, in the service, in the march past, has their own story. And every one of them are fascinating.
It has been a pleasure to immerse myself in their world for a short time. They are each an inspiration.