TOMORROW, North-Easterners and many others across the world will mark the end of the First World War.

They will do so with solemnity, mindful of the 880,000 British and imperial service personnel who lost their lives. Tomorrow, after all, is Remembrance Sunday, and although that day is now associated with the commemoration of all wars since 1914, its symbols – the poppy, the Cenotaph and even the timing – are the products of how the nation decided to mourn in the immediate aftermath of the Great War.

We should not, however, just be solemn. Remembrance Sunday is about the dead, but this year it coincides with Armistice Day, when the Germans signed the terms of surrender in 1918. It was a day of celebration and was more about the living than the dead.

Each year, it seems that, although the number of veterans diminishes, the number of spectators appears to increase. Even the number of memorials continues to grow and it is at those memorials that we not only express our sadness at loss, we find inspiration.

We also all feel another emotion on Remembrance Day – a sense of belonging, so when we stand together we feel a part of something larger than ourselves. Collectively, we cherish values such as justice, equality, inclusion, tolerance, respect for diversity and the rule of law.

Tomorrow, we will reflect on the cost of standing up for our values and feel a bond with others, and the responsibility to protect those who can’t protect themselves.