Saturday, 12 November 2011
Lest We Forget
At the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in the eleventh year of the 21st century, I was watching two veterans share in silence the experiences and memories of war. As Doug dabbed with an age-warn hand at the tears dribbling down his cheeks with his perky checked hanky you could not help but weep with him. Mike stood stoically alongside him, both so smart and proud in dark suits, white shirts and red ties. They had been helped up from the squashy sofas of the This Morning studio just before the chimes of Big Ben rang out eleven times; but now they were standing tall. When Doug was asked what the eleventh of the eleventh meant to him, he replied, quite simply 'Freedom'. When Mike was asked what got him through it he replied, equally simply, 'Willpower'. As they quietly shook eachother's hand you could feel the shared weight of memory between them.
These marvellous men deserve our greatest respect. They will never forget the horrors they saw, the hardship they endured and the friends and comrades they lost in the fight for freedom. And neither should we.
Sadly war continues even into this new century. It seems that Fallen Man will never learn to live together amicably, despite the ultimate sacrifice that men and women are making across this globe on an almost daily basis. Will the Age of Enlightenment ever really bear fruit? I fear not.
The Royal British Legion:11-11-11-11
D-Day 65 years on