Friday 24 November 2017

Remembrance Sunday

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In November you can always guarantee this is the month when you can truly say it starts to get cold in the U.K. October can be a seductive month when it comes to the weather. There you are putting the clocks back an hour so it’s dark by 4pm while at the same you’re wearing a pair of shorts and T-shirt because it’s been eighteen degrees all day! As I child when my father took me to the war memorial for Remembrance Sunday the wind was always bitterly cold. I would stand there shivering thinking of those poor souls that had to fight in that muddy, wet, freezing hell that were called the trenches and also those brave men who stormed the beaches on D-Day. They all had to wade through chest high cold water with bombs and bullets flying all around them, and then spend the next few days still in their sodden wet cold uniform fighting for their lives. It did instill in me a sense of gratitude that I did not have to experience such horrible events in my own life.

Now my own children take part in our community Remembrance Sunday. All the local Scouts and Girl Guide group plus ex-service personnel, local dignitaries and the public parade down the middle of the road from the district council office following all the standard bearers to the war memorial by the river. Here various types of red poppies and crosses are laid and after some prays, everyone heads to the parish church for a very moving and emotional remembrance service. Stirring hymns and the National Anthem are sung, the last post sounded and we give thanks for the people who have given their lives for us so we can enjoy ours, and our own in liberty.


For me Remembrance Sunday is always a time to reflect on two aspects of war. The first is to give thanks for the people whose lives were so cruelly taken from this earth so the rest of us can enjoy ours in peace with liberty and freedom. The second is that in most cases it was a needless waste of so much of humanities talent for nothing more than to soothe the egos of the people in power.  Take the First World War. It was nothing more basic than a family scrobble that got out of hand. The King, the Kaiser, and the Tzar were all closely related cousins and grandchildren of Queen Victoria who got into an argument about who was the biggest cock in Europe, and because of this hundreds' of millions of lives were lost or ruined to prove who was right. Some historians now think the Second World War was just a festering continuation of the First World War, so if the first war had not happened then neither would the second war have started. 

And it continues to this day. 9/11 was a terrible act of terror that was carried out by nationals of Saudi Arabia who trained in the mountains of Pakistan, and who were supported by the local military secret service there. So did President Bush Junior go after these two nations for what happened on 9/11? No!  He went after President Saddam Hussein of Iraq instead! Why him I've asked myself? Because when Bush Junior sat around the Thanksgiving table listening to his dad, Bush Senior, moaning about the fact that he may have won the battle against Saddam, but he felt he had lost the war because he was no longer in power, yet Saddam was still President of Iraq; Bush Junior took the opportunity of 9/11 to soothe his family pride and prove the Bush's were bigger cocks than the Hussein's by kicking Saddam out of power. And so it had been throughout history and so it will probably continue, and so will the pointless, needless slaughter of humanity while continuing to poison Mother Earth in the process.



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