Sunday, 11 November 2007

Remembrance Sunday

I went down to the Remembrance Sunday ceremony in the village today. The boys are both Cubs and there is always a march from the Scout Hut to the War Memorial by all the scouts, cubs, beavers, guides, brownies, rainbows, police and firemen. Wreathes were laid by each organisation and we held 2 minutes silence.

I always feel that this is an important ceremony and I think its very important that the boys understand why it is held. This year especially I think that the feeling of most people I know is that Remembrance Day must be upheld. Its, of course, to honour the dead of two World Wars, but, more and more, to honour those dying every day in Iraq and Afghnistan.

I feel proud of the soldiers out there, who do their job so professionally, but I am beginning to ask myself why on earth they are out there. Why are we sending men and women to die or be horribly maimed in a desert thousands of miles away? What business do we have there ? For how many more years will they be there ? The Government don't call it a war, but what is it ?

I read the other day of 2 paratroopers who were returning to the front line having been fitted with artificial legs. Each had lost a leg in the same incident, trapped in a minefield for over 5 hours. Others of their company died in the incident. How incredibly brave is that ?

I feel that I am ignorant of the details and don't feel qualified to " pronounce " on the war. What I do know though is that this is wrong. We are not wanted in either country. Our men and women are dying - not to protect us, back home ,from the Nazis or a terrible invading threat, but it seems to me to save face for the politicians who have got us into this mess.

Our soldiers do their job, in dreadful conditions, because they are professional and brave and that is simply " what they do ". But that does not make it right. How many have to die or be maimed before the politicians have the guts to get out ?


Margot said...

Gosh, I feel really sad just now, your words touched me deeply. I always thought it was wrong - those men and women fighting there... What for? - but I would not have been able to say it with such words as you used. You are incredibly right : they do their jobs but that does not make the whole thing right.

Inkling said...

I never used to question war or anything like that, and my questions now certainly don't arise from the news media being so negative. Rather, like you, I'm beginning to ask the question "for what purpose?" After reading Greg Mortenson's Three Cups of Tea (a fabulous and heart-inspiring book), I'm also asking the question, "Can we do this another way?" Thank you for speaking your thoughts with such eloquence.

Sarah said...

Thank you for your kind comments. S