Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Lest we forget

With broadband restored, there's time to blog on a few outstanding issues whilst I've been on an enforced leave of absence.

On Sunday I joined the main Remembrance Day service at Holy Trinity Church. The councillors assembled over the road at Walkington House, and then processed in order of seniority over to the church, followed by the Mayoral party, which included Alan Milburn, the deputy Lord Lieutenant and of course the banners from the various uniformed groups in the town.

Unfortunately, the service's timing went awry, and afterwards we lined up shivering in the cold with the band and the soldiers, waiting ages for the off. We comforted ourselves that it was at least better than 1991, when Rita Fishwick was Mayor, and the service overran significantly. Then the Mayor, the councillors and the representatives from the various forces had to strike up an undignified jog down Woodland Road to get to the cenotaph on time.

Not on Sunday, and it was good to see so many people walking along the road with us to the grounds of the old hospital. As always, the act of remembrance sent a shiver down my spine, as the banners were lowered, and fallen leaves brushed against us blown by a stiff wind from a clear blue sky. Around 15 wreathes were left, including, movingly, one for the 'Aycliffe Angels' laid by a very frail old lady.

Then the band marched off playing Colonel Bogey, and we could return to 2007, but still with thoughts of the millions who had made the ultimate sacrifice for those of us living today.

3 comments:

miketually said...

Our two minute silence was about five minutes late. The vicar didn't think God or the dead would mind.

Anonymous said...

Alan Macnab writes....

When my family and I were on holiday in France one year ago in the Summer we passed a French military cemetery on our daily journey into Soissons by the roadside. I made a rough estimate that there were 5,000 graves in the cemetery, but I was not sure and I wanted to find out more.

I managed to find the cemetery recently on Google Earth and was shocked to discover that there are20,000 brave soldiers buried in the cemetery.

We should never ever forget the sacrifices made in all wars so that we may be free.

ian holme said...

Absolutley,
That is why it is so important that, as the generation who fought for our freedom pass-on, we ensure that future generations are made aware of their sacrifice.

My 14 yr old daughter visisted Aushwitz during a school visit to Poland. She already had some understanding of what WW2 was all about, but she came home extremely moved by the experience.
What she saw will stay with her for her lifetime.

The fact that we are all here and free to moan and complain about the State of our town/country is down to the bravery and sacrifice of fore-fathers.

We must never forget