Sunday, 13 November 2011

Remembrance Sunday

I was really moved by so many blogs on Friday devoted to Armistice Day and also Veterans Day yesterday. Today is the annual Remembrance Service and Parade in London:
Each year I watch it on TV and each year I also weep for the futility of war, the bravery of so many who made the ultimate sacrifice and for those who survived but for many reasons never had the same life they knew before they went into war. One instance always really hits home and who can fail to be moved when the St. Dunstan's contingent march proudly past the Cenotaph and turn their sightless eyes sharp left?

A lot of years ago I was with Len, walking down Whitehall, a few days after the Remembrance Sunday Service and Parade. It was late evening and the traffic was unusually light so we crossed to the Cenotaph in the centre of Whitehall and stood looking at all the wreaths.

Then, almost hidden and tucked in amongst the wreaths Len spotted an empty quarter or half bottle of rum - the contents were certainly missing. Taped to the bottle was a single poppy and a small piece of paper on which was written 'Remembering you Harry. We had a drink in your memory'. Our guess is that, during the long wait for their turn to march in the parade, some ex-servicemen had had a little nip or two in memory of their old friend Harry. We'll never know the full story but we've never forgotten seeing that single poppy, attached to an empty little bottle with a message for Harry amongst all the other big wreaths.

Di
x

8 comments:

  1. What a lovely post Di. We took our son to visit war graves in north France a few years back and that memory will stay with me forever...our son was the same age as many that lay in the graves.
    May we never forget.
    Hugs,
    A x

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  2. We must never ever forget them.

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  3. Lovely post, Di. I always make a point of remembering. I come from a family with a long military and naval history, indeed I served in the army too. Two of my great-uncles, dearly loved men, died in WWII - one in a submarine off Norway, and the other in Hong Kong. My great-grandfather served in the first world war and came back wounded, both physically, from gas poisoning, and mentally from sheel-shock - he was never the same man again and died an untimely death. I could go on ... however, despite all this I do agree with you that war is all too futile - such as waste of human life. Elizabeth x

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  4. Lovely poignant post Di, the story of the little bottle with the poppy brought a lump to my throat that I had to quickly swallow down. I read that this year was the first Remembrance Sunday where there wasn't a WWI veteran present in any of the countries that fought in the conflict, they've all gone now, so if we don't remember them, who will?

    Hugs
    Brenda

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  5. Hopefully future generations will remember as we do. Like ELizabeth, I come from a military background and my grand father, although he survived and lived to aged 90, was never the same after being gassed in WW1 and hit by shrapnel in the head. The horrors of war never left him. In turn, his children all joined the forces (I was an Army Brat) - and, on both my Mum and Dad's side of the family, I had uncles who were POWs in the Far East. I was brought up visiting War Memorials all over the world, wherever Dad was posted to. One of the most moving is Kranji in Singapore where the turf and English rose bushes are regularly transported from the UK and planted, and replaced when necessary.

    Di x

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  6. Hi Di, Yeah it was really nice to see so many people sharing their thoughts, Your picture is just lovely too, what a lovely story regarding the empty bottle true to their words they remembered there friend :) Sandra H

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  7. A lovely post Di. We should never forget.
    Diane xx

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Thank you so much if you take the time to comment! Sorry but anonymous comments have had to be blocked due to a spam avalanche. Di x