Tuesday, 11 November 2008

In memoriam 2008

I was thinking long and hard about what to write today. At this point last year I wrote about the Armistice. About how we should remember the sacrifice that - sadly countless - men and women have made over the years.

Some people were very kind about what I wrote. But, to be honest, this year I'm struggling for more words.

So I'm letting some other people do the talking today.

Henry Allingham is Britain's oldest war veteran; at 112 one of only four known British survivors of World War 1. And he says it much better than I can:
"Whenever I saw people wearing poppies, it reminded me of my time in France when death and the fear of death was as near to me as the poppies growing in the fields.

"Age has made my eyesight fail and I can no longer see the symbolic red flowers. But when someone near tells me they're wearing a poppy, I always ask if I can feel them. It's comforting to know that people are still paying their respects.

"And that is all a poppy represents - respect. All this talk of wearing white poppies, red poppies and no poppy at all is getting away from the point. Pinning a poppy to your chest is a sign that you are remembering all those men who didn't want war, but volunteered anyway and had no idea of the horror and brutality they would face."
For a modern take, please go and look at this piece of compare-and-contrast, from London-based blogger diamond geezer. It's simply brilliant. I can't add anything else.

1 comment:

Lisa said...

112 eh? Wow, that's impressive. So articulate. Mr Allingham's just saying it as it is/was. God the stories he could tell...and ones that people would equally not want to hear I imagine. Bless him.

As for Diamond Geezer, what a poignant post on reality. So sad.


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