Monday, November 13, 2006

A Personal Remembrance

In the words of the Remembrance Prayer:

“They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old.
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning.
We will remember them".

A temporary blip with Blogger IT means I am unable to post photos today but you can see BBC pictures of Remembrance Day by clicking here

Maybe it is simply because I am getting older but to me the Remembrance Service yesterday seemed more emotional than usual. We went to our local church service and in the two minute silence at 11 o'clock, I had feelings including sadness, pride and sympathy for all the families of those millions of brave men, women and children who have died for me, my country and my freedom in wars.

The merits of war disappeared from my thoughts for those two minutes. I thought only of parents who saw their sons go to war and not return; the young children who must have wondered where and why their Dad was going away and then the questions to Mum about why he did not come back; the brave women left at home without their husbands trying to keep the family together only to die in bombing raids; the young men in the forces who died alone in a foreign land.

I looked around and as some older people gently raised a tissue to mop a tear, my own eyes became moist and a gulp or two was needed.

Some people want us to stop this Remembrance Day – not me. I hope we NEVER change this tradition.

It is a reminder to those if us lucky enough never to have fought in a war where many brave people have made (and of course continue to make) the ultimate sacrifice for their country ..... and therefore for ME.

I did some quick research with Wikipedia to get a feel of the numbers involved – it is staggering!

In the two world wars the number of UK citizens, military and civilian, who died is 1.2 million.

The total deaths among civilians and the military in the two world wars on both sides amount to over 78 million people. That seems unbelievable and lets us remember that every one of those people was ‘somebody’s someone.’


Dick Field said...

Thank you for sharing that, Trevor. As a Vietnam veteran, I have felt myself more responsive to the sentiments of our Veterans Day (your, and formerly our, Armistice Day) and Memorial Day (your Remembrance Sunday, although ours is in May)- than in my younger life. Although not having made any personal sacrifice other than time and separation in my war, I am greatly moved by what many of my contemporaries, and those in other wars, have endured. The emotions still come strongly and unexpectedly at times - as in viewing a recent television documentary of a young mom with small children whose young husband did not return from Iraq. Her strength through tragedy, for her children's sake, was so impressive and moving.

I believe it is a good thing for the mature among us to react strongly to such sacrifices and to not take them lightly.

Trevor Gay said...

Amen Dick and thank you for sharing that.

For one day each year the least we can do is to forget about whether wars should or should not happen and just remember the people who gave everything ... and then some ... to make my life so simple in comparison.

Peace to you and your family at this time.