Every year I write a post for Remembrance but this year I’m going to keep it short, because I still believe wholeheartedly in what I wrote last year, and as far as I’m concerned that’s still my view.
Remembrance is hugely important to me. I knew, and am still great friends with people scarred by war and military service. The battles that marked them – both the ones on the battlefield, and those in their heads – haunt me to this day and I honour and recognise their sacrifice, and that of those who didn’t return from some foreign field.
This year I feel we’ve been let down locally by a police force whose cheese-paring, jobsworth attitude to one of the most significant and most British acts of community cohesion has shamed our nation. When keeping those safe who wish to honour our fallen is too much to ask, it makes me wonder what the sacrifice was for: of all things to cut back on in policing, the shambling over the policing of Remembrance parades should not have happened. I hope that in 2016 this divisive, unpleasant spectacle will not recur.
I continue to record the lives and histories here of those who fought, of which more to come later today, but a post has been published in recent days by fellow local blogger Linda Mason that says far more than I ever could. I commend you to read this wonderful, thought-provoking and raw article.
Finally, I’d like to suggest we spare some time today to think of those who fought in wars we don’t remember so readily. At the moment, we seem to be caught up in memories of both world wars, but I’d like to think we can spare some time for those lost in smaller, but just as personally devastating conflicts.
I’m thinking here particularly of the Korean war, a military misadventure in the early 1950s that cost 1078 British lives, and saw over 1000 taken prisoner of war. Few today talk about it, but it should be remembered. This awful conflict touched my family and that of friends, the effects every bit as devastating as more widely understood campaigns.
I include below some videos forming a documentary about Korea, and if you get time today, please watch them. There’s a message here that echoes down the decades.
I’ll never forget those haunted, troubled eyes.
As to charities, I’m still supporting the work of Soldiers Off The Street. A fine charity without expensive layers of bureaucracy who are making a real difference to ex-forces homelessness. Please click on the link and check them out.