THEY paused in silent tribute across South West Wales at services to mark Remembrance Day yesterday.
In places including Port Talbot, Neath, Pontardawe, Llanelli and Carmarthen, respects were paid to the fallen of war and in Swansea they lined up on the promenade around the Cenotaph.
Bishop Anthony Pierce, conducting the service for the first time since 1998, said: "It was rather poignant on a number of accounts to be here. It was wonderful to see the range of people present, both young and old."
Captain Mark Lewis, from 1st Battalion The Royal Welsh Regiment was at the Swansea service and said: "I got back three or four weeks ago from my second tour of Afghanistan.
"Our primary thoughts are of those who aren't coming with us, who died in the service of our country, and friends and family who are not with their loves ones because they sacrificed themselves for the freedom of our country and our liberties."
Jack McGillivray, 81, has carried the Swansea branch standard of the Royal Electrical Mechanical Engineers at the service for the last 15 years.
"It is very sad that it still going on, young boys losing their lives," he said. "Nearly every week you hear of someone losing their life."
Brian Legg, 78, and who did his National Service in the RAF, said: "I think everyone should remember every year. I lost an uncle in North Africa in 1941 and I think it is nice that people come here and show their appreciation for people who fought for you and died."
At Swansea's Civic Remembrance Service at St Mary's Church, the Rev Simon Griffiths said: "Perhaps it is with the experience and memories of the past that we stand with penitence and sorrow of those who give themselves in the conflicts of the present. Perhaps it is also a sense of corporateness within our society, that somehow we are all in this together, and that when one of our servicemen is killed, that it is a cause for corporate mourning and grief."
In Neath a parade through the town centre was led by young musicians from 334 Air Training Squadron.
The parade — including cadets, servicemen, veterans, Scouts, St John Ambulance staff and volunteers — made its way along Windsor Road, Green Street and Orchard Street, and on to St Daivid's Church. The parade then made its way to the memorial gates in Gnoll Park for a drumhead service, where wreaths were laid and the Last Post sounded.