Saturday, 9 November 2013
Remembrance in the 21st Century
Each year I feel privileged to attend my local Remembrance Day service and lay a wreath on behalf of the Chamber of Commerce. In what is often a hectic calendar of events, invitations and meetings it is this once a year task that I feel most strongly about.
In the days either side of the service and the 11th of November itself, I am, each year, moved to reflect on some simple comparisons. There are always repeats/re-runs, of films and documentary's telling of the hardships endured, the heroism displayed, the horrors witnessed over this period. Frequently previously untold events and actions come to light as individual tales from the past are explored and regrettably new ones, from current conflicts, come to be told.
This sharing of the lives of others serves to remind us all today that we are, for the most part, very comfortable in our lives. When our biggest worries are that; our PC has crashed, not a loved one in a fighter or bomber; that our heating isn't working as against being on a ship on the Atlantic in freezing conditions with submarines waiting to pounce; that we may not have a holiday this year, rather than being incarcerated without knowing when it will end; then the reality is we are incredibly fortunate compared to many of our ancestors and many others in the world today.
Remembrance is primarily about offering thanks to, and thoughts of, those who have served in the armed forces over the years. These individuals did not seek conflict, they were required to resolve situations, through conflict, where conversation had broken down and failed. They were taken from their comfortable lives and placed in personality changing, character building, and often life threatening situations.
So over the coming days when your hard drive drops out, the boiler goes bang, or frustratingly you feel freedom eludes you, then spare a thought and remember those who have seen, and those that are seeing today, the reality of conflict and the sacrifices they, their families and their colleagues have made, are making, so that we may have what we have today; freedom of choice, freedom of speech and freedom to vote - all hard won and easily lost. Thank you to them all for their sacrifices and for our lives to live as we choose today.
Thank you for reading and I hope this has again triggered some thoughts and ideas of your own - is so please share and leave a comment.