Remembrance Sunday

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by PartTimePongo, Nov 9, 2002.

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  1. In our family album, we have a series of pictures, taken by my Granfather, of the first ever service at the Cenotaph.

    Every time I look at the Cenotaph, or at simple memorials, in Towns, Villages and churches throughout this land , I am reminded of the huge debt that I owe to the many thousands of unnamed servicemen and women , and to members of my immediate family as well. On a visit to Tyne Cot in 1998, I found the grave of my Great Uncle, a Lt. in the Royal Warwicks, killed in action at 19.

    All the stories and pictures that were shared by my family, it struck me that, until now, their significance and sacrifices, even my Great uncle,had been somewhat distant. The memorial at Tyne Cot, with visible for miles around, with it's thousands of white headstones layed out, in an almost military fashion seems subdued, dignified . A mute testament, to horrors that we in the modern army, can only imagine.

    As I look through my Grandfathers pictures,I see photos of him, as a Lance Corporal, Corporal, 2nd Lt, Captain. With each rank, the smile seems a little more forced, the friends a few less....
    He was commisioned on the Somme, and fought through to the end of the war.
    All too often these simple soldiers, sailors and airmen, are the unsung heroes.
    I look at my fathers' pictures. Happy bunches of Irishmen. In one photo, the Platoon Sgt holding a chicken up by it's legs. In another A VC winner drinking with his happy platoon. In another, simply captioned  "The last time we were all together, Sept.1944"  My father won't talk about the significance of the caption, but I know this was on the Arnhem drive.

    When I saw the thousands of names on the Menin Gate I thought of all those families , denied a son, father, brother. I thought of how they sought to keep those precious memories alive in their hearts.

    When I stood reading the terrible lists on the Menin gate, of soldiers with no known grave, I was struck by just how many familes in Britain at that time, must have lost a relative.

    The reasons why men and women go to war and fight for our country are not, in my opinion, what Rememberance Sunday is about.

    Rememberance Sunday should be about remembering those men and women, respecting what those men and women sacrificed for future generations and keeping their memories alive by educating younger generations about those sacrifices.

    Each year we show our respect by wearing poppies and stop to observe the two minute silence. But is two minutes of silence once a year truly enough?

    My belief is that we should do more. Britain is the only leading nation in the wartime alliances of the Great War and World War II not to honour its war dead with a remembrance holiday. In France they celebrate VE day and Armistice Day. The Americans have Veterans Day. But here in Britain our working day continues, save for the public spirited actions, of some retailers and workplaces.

    I fear that as the younger generation become further detached from the memory of war, that their understanding of the importance of remembrance may also be lost. An Armistice public holiday would be a fitting permanent reminder of the sacrifices made by British soldiers to secure this country's freedom.

    We should honour our war dead and our surviving war veterans. We should never allow their sacrifice to be forgotten.

    I would simply ask, as our small token of respect, for all contributors, serving, ex, and civilians to refrain from posting, between 10.55 and 11.05 tomorrow...

    ....But I know , to ask such a thing is unnecessary

    Sincerely

    PtP
     
  2. Just a small pendantic point: it's spelt 'Rememberance'

    ...sorry!  :-[ :p ;D
















    he he.......  ;D
     
  3. Ventress

    Ventress LE Moderator

    Ref, Tyne Cot, I am a regular battlefield tourer and guide, I had the misfortune in witnessing a coach load of ENGLISH school children pile off a coach from Essex and run rampage through the cemetery- well until they were controlled by our group, who reminded them Tyne Cot was a cemetery and not a play ground. On questioning the rather 'wet' teacher on his contol techniques he replied' "well what can you do" I had few choice suggestions. Sad, that educational visits are wasted on children who not prepared by the schools prior to the visit.
     
  4. I heard a rumour of a British Army unit running a battlefield tour to Vietnam?  Can you confirm if this is true and, if so, how do I get my self on one?

    Btw, Tyne Cot is awe-inspiring...if anyone's not been there, it's a "must see" location. :)
     
  5. Ventress

    Ventress LE Moderator

    In reply to Eagle, I tour Flanders and France 1914-1918 era, not to interested in Vietnam. I think HQ Land G3 punters have a list of Unit planned tours, give 'em a ring! They might be engaged just now though.