11/11

“They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.” For the Fallen, Laurence Binyon 1914

Today is Remembrance Day, or Armistice Day, the day on which we remember the casualties of war. It originated from the day on which the armistice of the First World War took place, and instigated the following year to look back at the tragedies of that war and remember the fallen. Since then there has been multiple other wars: the Second World War, the Falklands War, the Iraq War, but also the war on terror, the Cold War and the Afghanistan conflict among many others.

Apart from today, there is also Remembrance Sunday, which was two days ago, and I found this especially exciting this year. In Egham there is much more local commemoration than I have seen at home and I was really delighted to see the end of the Remembrance parade down the High Street. The Egham town band and the uniformed groups and everyone else proceeded into the church and we had a lovely service full of old hymns (lots of brass) followed by two minutes silence at the mini memorial in the churchyard, including the National Anthem.

Today, after my 9am lecture, I went over to the Air Forces Memorial next to Kingswood with two friends, where we again observed a two minutes silence along with flag raising, mainly retired people and some policemen (albeit without brass this time). It was greatly poignant, although we were told to cheer up as we left!

“When you go Home, tell them of us and say, For your Tomorrow, we gave our Today” John Maxwell Edmunds 1916

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