Most soldiers returning home from active service overseas do so incognito.

For all we know, as we walk around the supermarket today we could pass one, two or several brave servicemen who are back home on leave. But while we go about our busy lives, worrying about the soaring price of food and fuel, soldiers serving in far flung and inhospitable parts of the world on our behalf come and go quietly.

Many have returned in coffins draped with Union flags. As we have heard this week, 102 British soldiers have been killed in Afghanistan since 2002. And a similar number have died in Iraq since the Allied invasion in 2003.

The price these soldiers paid was the ultimate sacrifice. Today, five of the latest British soldiers killed fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan will be flown into RAF Lyneham in Wiltshire, before being driven to Oxford, where post mortems will be conducted at the John Radcliffe Hospital.

We in Britain have shown great indifference when it comes to our dead servicemen returning home. Why?

In other countries like the United States, hundreds lined the streets when hearses drive them to their final resting place Two of the soldiers returning home today are 19. Another is 22. Today is not a time to argue about the whys and wherefores of their involvement in Iraq or Afghanistan.

Today is an opportunity for individuals to stop and show respect - and pay these youngsters dignity and honour as they pass.

We would urge those who see the cortege passing in Marsh Lane and Headley Way in Headington this afternoon to stop and think for a moment about the sacrifice they made.

To the families who have lost loved ones, sons, brothers, husbands and fathers, the everyday banality of shopping and worrying about the price of fuel - things we will probably all get flustered about this weekend - will pale into utter insignificance.

Remember them.