… we will remember them.
This is a very special year as sadly we have lost the last of the Veteran soldiers that returned to British shores at the end of the Great War, The First World War, the war to end all wars, WW1.
This January, Bill Stone passed away aged 108, sadly followed by Henry Allingham aged 113. Lastly in July, at the age of 111 Harry Patch followed them.
This time and this day was set aside, all of those years ago so that we would always remember the fallen and never let such a dreadful waste ever happen again. Sadly there have been other wars and other soldiers that have been maimed and killed and so now our thoughts and prayers go out to them also.
Just two minutes silence … not a lot for the price that they have all paid, is it?
My grandfather fought in the First World War. He returned home skewered and torn with shrapnel. He would never speak of any of it – it was just too dreadful to recall.
We cannot possibly even come close to imagine the hell of it all – putting on sodden boots, soaking wet socks, wet feet … week after week after week. To be cold, wet and wanting. To watch our brothers, friends and comrades being picked off one by one with a bullet through the head, bombs. Choking on gas, eyes streaming, nostrils, mouth and lungs burning, Skin being torn from bones with barbed wire and shrapnel. On the first day of war alone – Sixty-Thousand Men died … followed every day thereafter by many more. Fighting over a few feet of mud. Those who made the decisions on all sides of the war, it is alleged never, not once said ‘sorry.’ They all had so much to say sorry for. No leader of men should send their men to fight in circumstances such as this … my grandfather’s words, which were very few were something like this … ‘it was just for a few feet of soil.’
The year after the Great War had ended, in the muddy battlefield, the landscape became a sea of red as millions of poppies pushed their way up towards the sunlight and bloomed. So many flowers that there must have been one for every fallen soldier in the war. Since then we have used the red poppy as a symbol of their memory, their heroism and our love for them – all of them whoever they were. Many were just boys. Boys that became men within hours of joining up. So wear your poppy with pride on this very special day … if you can plant a small patch of poppies in your garden for the love and respect of all of the soldiers not only for those who gave their lives all of those years ago but those who are constantly putting their lives on the line for us today.
God Bless you all … we thank you all … our thoughts are with you … we all stand with you so … please take care!