IT IS ALWAYS fitting to remember the sacrifices made by our veterans, the service they’ve given and the debt of gratitude we owe them from all of the different conflicts around the globe.

Last week I had the pleasure of visiting members of the Arab, Somali and Yemeni communities to hear about the Horn Development Associations ‘Heroes of the Sea’ project.

Staff and volunteers at HDA have researched the history of the Arab and Somali Merchant seamen who lost their lives during the first and second world wars.

The project has developed a database to identify the men from the Gulf of Aden who served in the Merchant Navy.

That project has now gone from being focused on three groups to being a project that has covered every merchant navy person in Wales who were killed in conflicts.

It’s a really fascinating project, with so much history but it also tells us so much about who we are today and our future.

The group would like to present it to the Assembly and I look forward to working with them to make sure that the project has a place here within the National Assembly Estate.

I will also be looking to meet with the Presiding Officer to discuss the general state of disrepair of the Seafarers Memorial on the Assembly Estate.

Unfortunately some of the mosaic slate is missing and the memorial itself has become rather tired looking. It is in need of love and attention.

I have been working hard with local councillors and the Merchant Navy Association in talking to the council and the Assembly Estate about how we renew this fantastic memorial.

The Seafarers Memorial is a really important part of the estate. I regularly attend the Merchant Navy Associations remembrance services in May and November at the memorial.

It is always a pleasure to speak to veterans from across the constituency, including Penarth about their experiences in the Merchant Navy and commercial seafaring life.

Their stories are remarkable and too easily forgotten or taken for granted.

Their sacrifice, loss and victory all helped to ensure that our country enjoys freedom and democracy today. I am reminded of their sacrifice every time I look out of the Senedd and see the Memorial to the Merchant Seamen of Wales.

The Memorial is a reminder of what we still owe to a previous generation. It would be fantastic if we could repair the memorial ahead of the 1918 centenary commemorations. I will keep you updated on these developments.