Sunday, 8 November 2009

Round-Up: Remembering

Rememberance Sunday is a peculiarly British celebration - we won't accept defeat by getting distracted from our daily routines for more than the minute we spend marking the moment of Armistice at 11am on the 11th day of the 11 month, so we instead choose the closest Sunday for our rituals.

It's clear from the way local bloggers have marked the date that the way we remember reflects our personal battles and concerns.

Elizabeth Thomas reprints a poem by Wilfred Owen to explain to her international audience that the ordinary sacrifice of the common man was the means by which tyrrany was defeated.

Conservative MP John Redwood is moved to give a recap of his life story in order to give some definition to the fight for freedom and capture the "sense of fear, futility, and enormous bravery against the odds."

It is also interesting how the pictures on different bloggers blogposts reflects their individual perspectives.

Mr Redwood's party colleague Cllr Richard Willis looks at battalion wreaths. He says we owe a debt of gratitude to the dead for putting military history in the annals of education.

Liberal Paul Walter prefers the silence of nature and a landscape of poppies.

Labour candidate Naz Sarkar can't translate his thoughts into a picture.

Ceramix photographs the Finchampstead War Memorial cross and copies out the simple inscription 'for all those who died in the name of freedom'.

Baba Mzungu posts a picture of the mass graves and obviously feels spiritually overwhelmed by the massive scale of the dead.

Baglady was struck by the regimented tributes of official remembrance. She admits she hasn't paid much attention to the services in past years - it's almost like they've been put on a shelf...

Elsewhere, Peter Ashley says he can't remember another year when the the issues were so intensively debated - possibly because the last Brish survivor of the WWI trenches died this summer.

He is almost glad that unobtrusive pins are available for your buttonhole to help avoid slipping into glorification of the massive scale of tragic losses.

Mark Reckons picks up on the stir caused by respected journalist Jon Snow who refuses to wear a poppy.

The veteran C4 frontman has been attacked by Labour commenters for undermining the occasion and diminishing the memory of the heroes who stood up to the forces of evil. But Mr Snow defended his neutrality by saying rememberance is a personal action of reflection, not just a public show to build political unity.

Indeed Rachel Eden spent the afternoon delivering political leaflets as she considered how to mark the occasion. She ladels it on like treacle with a 5minute video, and the announcement that she will force her class of children to observe two minutes of silence.

Meanwhile Robin Smith got into a discussion with a REME veteran who was collecting for the poppy appeal. It got to the more topical issue of why soldiers have been pressed into duty in Afghanistan.

Clive Davis notes the poignancy of The Times. He relates a recent interview with a soldier killed in Afghanistan.

And finally I offer my own contribution in an attempt to draw together both sides of the argument: the act of remembering is more than just something we each do by rote, it is something we do to prevent us from repeating the mistakes of the past.


Update: Mark Thompson attended the Rememberance Service at Sandhurst Memorial Park with officers from the nearby Royal Military Academy.

He reckons we owe them our today, because they give theirs for us.

It's hard to disagree.

With 13% of all military fatalities in Afghanistan and Iraq suffered by those from the south-east of England the region bears a larger burden than most. Sometimes it does all come close to home.

Lightening and lowering the tone at the same time, Mr London Street peers though his hazy memory and takes a swipe at haters everywhere.

No comments:

Post a Comment

"Reading List... is fantastic, it could help revolutinise politics in Reading"
Matt Blackall

Matt Brady

Adrian Windisch

Reading Geek Night

"A bloggers digest of the Berkshire blogosphere"

"An easily accessible collection of Berkshire's excellent blogs"
The Cookham Blogger

"An excellent digest of the thoughts of local bloggers"
Reading Guide