Saturday, 7 November 2009

They shall grow not old........

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.

At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.

Lest we forget

This photo is of the Reichswald Forest War cemetery near Kleve in Germany. It is also called the rose cemetery. I visited it in 1975, with my family. I was overwhelmed by the mass graves of young men my age, the age of my friends, the age of my boyfriend, not much older than my brothers who were with me. When I teach European Law, that memory is one that I share when explaining why I am for a united Europe; I don't want to lose my loved ones to war.

I am happy that generations have passed, where whole generations have not been touched.

Having said that, my first serious boyfriend was in the Falklands. Another close friend was in the 1st Gulf war. One nephew was the first medic on Iraqi soil in the second, and his brother was also involved. Their father is currently in Afghanistan where he is not only a medic, but also a stand in padre.

We remember at this time those who have fallen. We should also think of those who have survived. There are those who are whole in body, but their spirits are affected by what they have seen and experienced; there are those who would not have survived before, and who, having lost up to 3 limbs have to go along a new path. Their spirits are also affected. And there are those who have tended to the fallen, and their spirits have definitely been affected.

Here in France we shall be remembering on the 11th itself. The 11th minute of the 11the hour of the 11the day of the 11the month. Take a moment to remember, and to think about what it means to you. And to those you love.

And think of the courage of those who are facing death, wherever they may be.

War or cancer, both are hellish things.

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