Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Remembrance

..in London, three of the four surviving British World War I veterans attended a ceremony at the Cenotaph.

Henry Allingham, 112, Harry Patch, 110, and Bill Stone, 108, represented the Royal Air Force, Army and Royal Navy respectively.

These last few years Bert and I have taken a note of the number of veterans remaining from the First World War. It won't be long now until there are none left. Amazing as these old guys are they aren't immortal.

We watch the Remembrance Sunday coverage every year and I never fail to find it deeply moving. I've always had a great deal of sympathy for the armed forces - even in the darkest days of the Northern Ireland conflict - even through Bloody Sunday and all the other atrocities committed by the security forces. It wasn't a popular view for a Catholic to hold (and maybe it's part of the reason why some in my own family affectionately referred to me as 'The Unionist') but I could not stop caring for the individual soldier or police in the midst of it all.

So there you go - an opinion - I hate warring and I hate most of the reasons that make wars but I do not hate those who fight in wars.

2 comments:

Anna said...

"an opinion - I hate warring and I hate most of the reasons that make wars but I do not hate those who fight in wars"

I couldn't agree with you more.

Ksen said...

One of those men, Harry Patch, to be exact is wholly responsible for informing my opinion on wars in general. He said "War is a calculated and condoned slaughter of human beings" and I have not hears a more fitting definition of it before or since.