Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Remembrance Day

poppyToday is the 90th anniversary of the end of the First World War. On Sunday I attended a remembrance service at Poynton church. My 7-year-old son, Sam, was there with his beaver scout unit, dressed in his uniform and marching in the parade. Inside the church a young local man who had just returned from Afghanistan spoke about his experiences. As we all stood by the war memorial for the two minute's silence at 11am, I watched the cub scouts shivering in their shorts and wondered what they made of it all. I think perhaps in a world where they are mostly pestered by their parents to wrap up warm, they must at least have understood that this was something important. Important enough that hundreds of people gathered on a sleety November day to shiver together with heads bowed.

I stood in remembrance services as a child myself. I knew what they were about. Well, sort of. They were about The War (we still say "The War", as if there was only one war. As if war is now over. As if). They were about the Men Who Died (and the men who lived, and the women who died and lived). Ah, forget it, I didn't really understand at all. When I stand in remembrance services now I look at my sons shivering in their scout uniforms, standing next to boys who look hardly older in their army uniforms, some with medals already on their chests. And I shiver too.

But I still don't understand. I haven't been to war. Nobody I know personally has been to war whilst I've been alive. I try to imagine what it would be like if my children joined the services and went somewhere like Afghanistan or Iraq. I understand more now than when I was a child, but I still don't really understand.

I hope I never understand. I hope my kids never go to the front. I hope we will soon bring our boys home from Iraq and Afghanistan. I hope we learn to quit meddling with other parts of the world - we only ever make things worse in the long run. I hope we use our brave servicemen and women to defend our own country if need be and to do peacekeeping services around the world, but not to make war. I hope we equip them properly for that job, and repay them properly for their service, take care of their families properly and take care of them if they are injured. I hope Britain never starts a war again, and I hope we never again join the cause of a nation that starts a war. This I hope, and I pray.


Anonymous said...

Great post Mel. Although I wasn't born until the 50s, my parents were in their late 30s when I was born, and my father fought in "the War".
Well actually he didn't fight, he was in the Army Film and Photographic Unit (his C/O was Alan Wicker), but that doesn't mean he was not in danger.
He used to tell us stories, but they were funny anecdotes, heavily sanitised for us children.
I remember one day though, I can't recall how on earth it came up, he spoke of how you get used to the the very distinctive stench of rotting bodies. You end up being able to eat nearby.
I thought afterwards (years afterwards) that getting used to it must be a worse horror than not getting used to it.

Anonymous said...

Great post Mel. I was born in the late '60s and like you I didn't understand as a kid and probably haven't much more understanding now.
But I remember the mother of friends of mine crying openly in church on Remembrance Sunday. My Mum explained that her both her brothers and her father had been killed in "The War".
As this lady was usually incredibly reserved and shy, seeing such an open display of sorrow made a lasting impact on me. I can never hear the word 'war' without thinking of her, sobbing as the bugle played.
No matter what rhetoric I come across about war, conflict and 'rights', her sorrow is the only real legacy I ever see or feel.

Yellow said...

I have often experienced conflicting emotions at this time of year when we remember those who gave their lives in conflict. I was brought up a pacifist (although I often shout and scream at the tv when the news is on). However, which I also pray that my children never enlist as a career, I feel grateful to thise who have lost their lives in defence of our country. How about those who lost their lives in conflicts I feel were ill advised at best? Well, when you join the armed forces you don't get to choose which conflict you're sent to. Either you're a soldier, or you're a civilian. So, my gratitude encompasses those men and women too. I can pray for the souls of the pawns of each war, whichever side they find themselves on. But I may refuse to observe two minutes silence after the death of those whose hands manipulate those pawns.

Anonymous said...

Amen. Amen.

Unknown said...

Southern Ireland is only just starting to admit to & commemorate the First War (first?), which, having been brought up in England, I find odd. I studied 20th century history at O level, then was heavily involved in research for "Oh, What a Lovely War" ~ O level drama practical, only to watch the film of the play in Guernsey with the women who helped me when my son was fighting to live, who quietly pointed out her grandfather's (I think ~ I remember father, but she wasn't that old at all) name on the memorials shown. My own grandfather died before I was born, having never fully recovered from his time as a Far-East POW. Mum won't read a certain 2nd WW book she has because it deals with her own father's experiences on the Burma Railway.

Coming more up-to-date, 1 of my 2 very best friends in UK was sent home ignomiously from the Falklands, because his then girlfriend was dying from leukemia & he was picked up 30 miles off-shore swimming back to England! He was in the Vet. Corp & was a specialist bomb person. It was felt that this 1 tiny man was of more danger to the British Army in his emotional state, than the whole of the Argentian Army.

I think my dear, dear friend here was in the military from things he's said, but because he's a Belfast Lad I won't quiz him about his past: who knows what he's seen, lived through, the decisions he's had to face & how would I react if I'd had to live those experiences & face those decisions.

I've watched my 2 eldest in their SJA uniforms in parades commemorating things that meant nothing to them under the watchful eye of their very violent father...

Lesley said...

I understand

My grandmother lost a brother in 'The Great War' (WW1)

I lived through WW2

Our house was bombed out with us in it.

Houses around us later were flattened and people died in them

Neighbours received bad news telegrams and their loved ones didn't return home.

My uncle was shot as he parachuted to earth and spent a year in hospital...but he survived.... as did my father and his other brother.

We were lucky...we lived on.

But I do understand what remembrance is all about.

Louise | Italy said...

Yes, this is a great post. I think you put into words the feelings many of us have. Thank-you.

Alan said...

Thanks for remembering and hoping for peace. I posted my thoughts http://www.robertsroostecofarm.com/2008/11/remembering.html so I won't leave them here. War is a terrible thing and most who serve hope it will never come. Still, with out them, with out us standing on the wall of freedom, the lives our friends, families, children enjoy now and in the future wouldn't be.

Hope for peace. Work for peace. But, be prepared to defend the right to live peacefully.

Robj98168 said...

Here Here. The UK needs to stop listening to men like Bush. Hopefully Obama will get in and get US out of Iraq soon!

Linda said...

I attended my town's Remembrance service along with only a handful of others. It's easy to forget the sacrifices of those who have gone before and those who are still on the front line.

Anonymous said...

Good day!

Although not exactly relating to the thread please allow me, dear friend, to tell you of the newest home of British comedy on the online.

English For Dirty Foreigners is the only show on the internets that will lie to you outrightly about British language, traditions, customs and stuffs.
Oh yes, we have many stuffs.


Come for the comedy.
Stay for the hilarity.

Melanie Rimmer said...

Wow. That has to be the most inappropriate piece of spam I have ever seen.

Unknown said...

Melanie, here in Israel, we have a Remembrance Day in May for all those soldiers killed in all the wars. What makes it special is that there is a 2 minute siren at 11 AM where everyone stands in attention wherever they are at the time. At 8 in the evening there are celebrations for Independence Day. That way, we remember how hard a fight it was to gain our independence

Anonymous said...

成人電影,情色,本土自拍, 美女交友, 嘟嘟成人網, 成人貼圖, 成人電影, A片, 豆豆聊天室, 聊天室, UT聊天室, 尋夢園聊天室, 男同志聊天室, UT男同志聊天室, 聊天室尋夢園, 080聊天室, 080苗栗人聊天室, 6K聊天室, 女同志聊天室, 小高聊天室, 情色論壇, 色情網站, 成人網站, 成人論壇, 免費A片, 上班族聊天室, 成人聊天室, 成人小說, 微風成人區, 色美媚部落格, 成人文章, 成人圖片區, 免費成人影片, 成人論壇, 情色聊天室, 寄情築園小遊戲, AV女優,成人電影,情色,本土自拍, A片下載, 日本A片, 麗的色遊戲, 色色網, ,嘟嘟情人色網, 色情網站, 成人網站, 正妹牆, 正妹百人斬, aio,伊莉, 伊莉討論區, 成人遊戲, 成人影城,
ut聊天室, 免費A片, AV女優, 美女視訊, 情色交友, 免費AV, 色情網站, 辣妹視訊, 美女交友, 色情影片 成人影片, 成人網站, A片,H漫, 18成人, 成人圖片, 成人漫畫, 情色網, 日本A片, 愛情公寓, 情色, 舊情人, 情色貼圖, 情色文學, 情色交友, 色情聊天室, 色情小說, 一葉情貼圖片區, 情色小說, 色情, 色情遊戲, 情色視訊, 情色電影, aio交友愛情館, 色情a片, 一夜情, 辣妹視訊, 視訊聊天室, 免費視訊聊天, 免費視訊, 視訊, 視訊美女, 美女視訊, 視訊交友, 視訊聊天, 免費視訊聊天室, 情人視訊網影音視訊聊天室, 視訊交友90739, 成人影片, 成人交友, 本土自拍, 免費A片下載, 性愛,
成人交友, 嘟嘟成人網, 成人電影, 成人, 成人貼圖, 成人小說, 成人文章, 成人圖片區, 免費成人影片, 成人遊戲, 微風成人, 愛情公寓, 情色, 情色貼圖, 情色文學, 做愛, 色情聊天室, 色情小說, 一葉情貼圖片區, 情色小說, 色情, 寄情築園小遊戲, 色情遊戲情色視訊, 情色電影, aio交友愛情館, 言情小說, 愛情小說, 色情A片, 情色論壇, 色情影片, 視訊聊天室, 免費視訊聊天, 免費視訊, 視訊美女, 視訊交友, 視訊聊天, 免費視訊聊天室, a片下載, aV, av片, A漫, av dvd, av成人網, 聊天室, 成人論壇, 本土自拍, 自拍, A片,成人電影,情色,本土自拍,

Anonymous said...

情色電影, aio交友愛情館, 言情小說, 愛情小說, 色情A片, 情色論壇, 色情影片, 視訊聊天室, 免費視訊聊天, 免費視訊, 視訊美女, 視訊交友, ut聊天室, 視訊聊天, 免費視訊聊天室, a片下載, av片, A漫, av dvd, av成人網, 聊天室, 成人論壇, 本土自拍, 自拍, A片, 愛情公寓, 情色, 舊情人, 情色貼圖, 情色文學, 情色交友, 色情聊天室, 色情小說, 一葉情貼圖片區, 情色小說, 色情, 色情遊戲, 情色視訊, 情色電影, aio交友愛情館, 色情a片, 一夜情, 辣妹視訊, 視訊聊天室, 免費視訊聊天, 免費視訊, 視訊, 視訊美女, 美女視訊, 視訊交友, 視訊聊天, 免費視訊聊天室, 情人視訊網, 影音視訊聊天室, 視訊交友90739, 成人影片, 成人交友,

免費A片, 本土自拍, AV女優, 美女視訊, 情色交友, 免費AV, 色情網站, 辣妹視訊, 美女交友, 色情影片, 成人影片, 成人網站, A片,H漫, 18成人, 成人圖片, 成人漫畫, 情色網, 日本A片, 免費A片下載, 性愛, 成人交友, 嘟嘟成人網, 成人電影, 成人, 成人貼圖, 成人小說, 成人文章, 成人圖片區, 免費成人影片, 成人遊戲, 微風成人, 愛情公寓, 情色, 情色貼圖, 情色文學, 做愛, 色情聊天室, 色情小說, 一葉情貼圖片區, 情色小說, 色情, 寄情築園小遊戲, 色情遊戲, 情色視訊,

Anonymous said...

aaaa片, 免費聊天, 咆哮小老鼠影片分享區, 金瓶梅影片, av女優王國, 78論壇, 女同聊天室, 熟女貼圖, 1069壞朋友論壇gay, 淫蕩少女總部, 日本情色派, 平水相逢, 黑澀會美眉無名, 網路小說免費看, 999東洋成人, 免費視訊聊天, 情色電影分享區, 9k躺伯虎聊天室, 傑克論壇, 日本女星杉本彩寫真, 自拍電影免費下載, a片論壇, 情色短片試看, 素人自拍寫真,

做愛的漫畫圖片, 情色電影分享區, 做愛ㄉ影片, 丁字褲美女寫真, 色美眉, 自拍俱樂部首頁, 日本偷自拍圖片, 色情做愛影片, 情色貼圖區, 八國聯軍情色網, 免費線上a片, 淫蕩女孩自拍, 美國a片, 都都成人站, 色情自拍, 本土自拍照片, 熊貓貼圖區, 色情影片, 5278影片網, 脫星寫真圖片, 粉喵聊天室, 金瓶梅18, sex888影片分享區, 1007視訊, 雙贏論壇, 爆爆爽a片免費看, 天堂私服論壇, 情色電影下載, 成人短片, 麗的線上情色小遊戲, 情色動畫免費下載, 日本女優, 小說論壇, 777成人區, showlive影音聊天網, 聊天室尋夢園, 義大利女星寫真集, 韓國a片, 熟女人妻援交, 0204成人, 性感內衣模特兒, 影片, 情色卡通, 85cc免費影城85cc, 本土自拍照片, 成人漫畫區, 18禁, 情人節阿性,

免費成人影音, 彩虹自拍, 小魔女貼影片, 自拍裸體寫真, 禿頭俱樂部, 環球av影音城, 學生色情聊天室, 視訊美女, 辣妹情色圖, 性感卡通美女圖片, 影音, 情色照片 做愛, hilive tv , 忘年之交聊天室, 制服美女, 性感辣妹, ut 女同聊天室, 淫蕩自拍, 處女貼圖貼片區, 聊天ukiss tw, 亞亞成人館, 777成人, 秋瓷炫裸體寫真, 淫蕩天使貼圖, 十八禁成人影音, 禁地論壇, 洪爺淫蕩自拍, 秘書自拍圖片,

eda said...


Anonymous said...

免費a片 a片 免費av 色情影片 情色 情色網 色情網站 色情 成人網成人圖片成人影片 18成人 av av女優avav女優情慾 走光 做愛 sex H漫 情色 情趣用品 情色 a片 a片 成人網站 成人影片 情趣用品 情趣用品アダルトアダルト アダルトサイト アダルトサイト 情趣用品