at the going down of the sun

This Sunday (12 November) is Remembrance Sunday here. 

Armistice Sunday always moves me deeply.  Remembering the millions of men and women who gave their lives for our freedom is such an important thing for us to continue to do.  There are fewer and fewer left of those who served in the first world war and the same is true of the survivors of the second world war.

There have been many who have died since those two world wars all across the world.  We should remember them.  Always.

I often wonder if we paid more attention to the preciousness of human life we might be a little slower to send young men and women to their deaths to further political ambition.

I was greatly impressed by the commemorations of D-Day where for the first time the German people joined with the Allies to remember the passing of such great evil.  We forget too easily the price paid by ordinary men and women who just happened to be German and who had little interest in or sympathy with their leaders ambitions but were sent to die anyway.

So at the going down of the sun and in the morning we should remember them.  And never forget.

Advertisements

4 Responses to at the going down of the sun

  1. Rose says:

    We call our ‘Remembrance Day’ ‘Veterans Day” here in the states and celebrate it on November 11th (11/11). On this day we honor all veterans, living and not. We also have a separate ‘Memorial Day’ in early May to honor our war dead, of which we have far too many.

    Veterans day has a special meaning to me. My dad served as a paratrooper in WWII and was on the beach at Normandy on D-Day. He was proud of the service he gave during the war, but it left him scarred physically and mentally the rest of his life.

    In honor of Veterans Day I have the opportunity to ride in a WWII B-17 Bomber. I am looking forward to it, but do wish my dad was here to go along for the ride.

  2. Stewart says:

    So when do you get to ride in the B-17?

    My grandfathers both served during WWII in France and in Germany but they bothe died when I was young so I only know a little about them and their stories.

    I read a very moving book about a man, his father and his grandfather and the effects the war had on the old man who served and his relationships when he came home. It’s called ‘My Father was a Hero’. I’ll blog about it more detail later and link it to amazon (it seems to be broken at the moment!)

  3. Rose says:

    Yesterday, actually. The “Aluminum Overcast Flying Fortress” (www.b17.org for more info).

    I’m sorry that you never really got to know your grandfathers or their stories.

    I never got to spend much time with my dad until I was an adult. I know that he had terrible, violent nightmares about the war his entire life. He also carried a piece of shrapnel near his spine because it was too close to the cord to remove safely. However, he truly felt that Hitler and the “Axis of Evil” needed to be stopped and was proud of the service he gave. It wasn’t an ambiguous fight, no questions of “why are we here?” or “should be be here?” or “were we lied to to get us here?”

    I have one shining memory of staying up most of one night with him and listening to his war stories. It felt like a rite of passage to me, a dividing line between childhood and being considered an adult. My father was a simple man, but to me, also a hero.

    I’ve been thinking a lot about humanity, spirituality, war, peace, religion, on and on. I have enjoyed this blog site for that reason.

    It is very easy for me, from the relative safety of my den, in front of my computer monitor to say that war is evil, that it scars people and changes their lives forever and all war should be abolished. But I wonder, are we humans hard wired for conflict? Do we automatically decide, all of us, that there is a right side and a wrong side to any issue and our side is right? Is that what organized sports are about, my team is better than yours – the new warrior caste? What do you think?

  4. Stewart says:

    I think that you are probably right. As humans we have very basic ‘fight or flight’ instincts. Sometimes we can overcome these, sometimes not.

    Organised sports, particularly the violent ones like american football and ice hockey seem to satisfy our needs in some way. Did you ever see the movie ‘rollerball’? It was based on the premis that you mention. The game was the only violence in the world but became more extreme to satisfy the crowd.

    We in the UK still have problems with violence around soccer where tribalism seems alive and well and gangs organise to fight each other. I often wonder why the police don’t just find the idiots somewhere out of the way to fight and let them get on with it!

    I wonder if violence in movies satisfies the same need in us? I find myself thinking ‘oh yes’ when someone gets killed sometimes. I’ve never started a fight in my life. What’s that all about?

%d bloggers like this: