Stories and anecdotes from part of my life in 2 British police forces, years in saddles of motorcycles - and other places I've blundered into ©
The older I have become the more I have realized how transitory life is - we really don't know when - as a mutual friend wrote - "the sand runs out". A miscalculated act by ourselves, or someone else, or things just simply ...stop.
`Morning Bill. This is the week leading up to Remembrance Sunday over here, 11th Day, 11th Month, 11th Hour. The National Service in London I attended every year during my police years there. It was always a great pleasure and you always met the nicest people, survivors all!
Thank you for posting this. Coming from being raised in British Columbia and reciting Flanders Fields in school it seems odd to me that in the USA this time of year is not taken more seriously.I grew up with Remembrance Day on November 11th being a somber occasion and now in the USA Veterans Day seems to be more of a time of celebration and a time for stores to put on huge sales. It makes me sad.
HD - I have had the strangest feeling reading this book - on snipers - http://www.amazon.com/Out-Nowhere-military-Sharpshooter-Afghanistan/dp/B008SLMG64/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1352138458&sr=8-2&keywords=martin+peglerVery well researched and - interesting. But the author goes through all the wars, describing the equipment - and I had a great uncle - shot by a German sniper a week before armistice - my mother said that he wrote of the miserable life in the trenches - rats and mud - a condition your boys knew far longer than ours. He was well thought of and is supposed to have a little window dedicated to him in the York Cathedral (despite being an American) One thinks in wartime - soldiers shot indiscriminately - the effects reverberating in the families through the decades...I am afraid our equivalent - Memorial Day - is treated more as a 3 day holiday with BBQ and Indy 500 than remembrance Trobairitz - you are right - for some reason Veterans Day - celebrated Nov 11 - the 11th minute of the 11th Day of the 11th Month - the "war to end all wars" - not really much reflection here.
BillB: As you know, the author of "Out of Nowhere", Martin Pegler, is a friend/former colleague of mine, sadly for a very short while before he moved to his B&B on The Somme. I used to live near York and still have friends there. I'll be there before Xmas. I'd be happy to try and find that window.Troubairitz: I had family, both Canadian and English, serving King and Country in WW1&2. Nov 11th originated from WW1 and is rather more significant to the British/Canadian/French than to our American allies whose arrival, on that occasion, was very different strategically, with us being `bled almost dry` by 1917. Never again, ay?
HD - I think lost on people in the US - and Canada - were the horrendous loses suffered by Britain, France, and Germany. Most of a generation. An excellent biography of Winston Churchill is by Wm Manchester - The Last Lion But in it he delves into the politics of the 1930s. Through 1938 Britain and France had probably a half dozen chances to stop Hitler - and easily - but with the the nightmare of WW1 - they had no stomach for it. Ask people in the US what the most costly war for us was and most will say WW2. A few will even say Vietnam. (During one day in the Battle of the Somme 50,000 were killed - almost the equal of 10+ years in Vietnam). But for us - by far - the most costly war was our Civil War. By any measure. Like WW1 people thought it would be over quickly.
Here in the former colonies, the people that do the reflecting are those will military service under their belts, war vets or not.The War of Northern Aggression (a more accurate term for the white washed "Civil War") still reverberates here, more than any other war the US fought. Most of the political problems the US has is a result of Lincoln winning his war.
QM - agree with you on all counts.
An interesting vignette from Boardwalk Empire was an almost British-style remembrance service. The show is based in the late 'teens-early 'twenties so maybe there was more of that when the wounds were still raw?
Blue: And what a series that is!
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