Sitting here, watching the Cenotaph and march passed for Remembrance Sunday as i do every year on.the second sunday of November, two thoughts come to mind
- What the eyes that March or are wheeled passed the memorial have seen
- That there are very few veterans of world war two let alone world war 2 left to March passed
I cannot help but see the importance of passing the Baton of remembering the sacrifice made by thousands of British and commonwealth troops along with the admired and celebrated Ghurkas to the next generation who won’t have parents or grandparents who lived the conflicts, like my mother and father, uncles and aunts who lived thru the blitz. Or the soldiers who went over to Dunkirk and did not return or the Dday landings that was the beginning of the end of the Nazi invasion of Europe.
I’m all for forgive, but forget? Never because if you forget, you forget the lessons that the conflicts which raged for 11 years of the 20th century taught and where hatred can lead.
Then I am also made to think listening to veterans of the more recent arenas of war to think how the children of today must again want to carry the Baton forward for it represents their loss too, brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers are still falling for this country giving no regard to their personal politics and volunteering to join the British Forces
Then I think about the Grandfather I never knew, who survived the Somme but was poisoned by the German mustard gas in his trench, I never knew him as he died before I was born but he is a proud part of my families past.
Also living in Colchester i cannit walk far without seeing either a serving soldier or an ex soldier, you cannot fail to pick them out for the way they carry themselves, but I cannot help but wonder what those eyes have seen and what those hands have done.
I had a recent conversation with an old Regimental Sergeant major who was in during our time of conscription and having had that chat I cannot help but wonder how some would cope if we bought back conscription, taking the edge of a warrant officers tongue who may be trying to get under your skin however he is not trying to kill you that’s the enemies job.
I also discovered recently that my great great uncle was killed at the battle of the Somme, a recent discovery thanks to my cousins wife