After the build up and solemnity and reverence of the Armistace Day silence and the Rememberance Day services, I noticed something and some what was rather miffed and annoyed.
Firstly, to anyone who has as a career choice decided to join any of our armed service I commend your courage and respect the diligent work you do, society owes you a heavy debt of gratitude. The Uk still have the best forces on the globe, a testiment to all involved. I hope I do you no disservice by what I am about to say but there will be those who strongly disagree with me and you have that right to be so and say so.
The silences and services of the last weekend were to remember those fallen in battle, fights, wars, conflicts, it began after the Great War, the war to end all wars that did not, and what struck me as I watched the old soldiers proudly march past and the narrators rare reference to their age and depleating numbers, that these men [and woman] had no choice. It was not a career decision to join up. It was not a calculated risk, as in I’ll join up for expert skill training and hope I am not called to fight; no they had no choice, it was join up or be imprisoned – not much of a choice is it.
As I watched and listened to the harrowing stories of the Afghanistan war widows, bomb disposal personnel, drivers, medicos etc loosing limb and life my heart grieved at the tragedy and the horror. [Anyone else notice the lack of ention of Falklands, Iran, Iraq, Northern Ireland, Bosnian Conflict, North Korea conflicts] But there is a core difference to them and the fallen of World War 1 and 2, they chose to sign the papers. Valiant and courageous though that truly is, is it not the same as being told to.
And to those organisations who would dissrupt such services as a protest of conflicts on-going I say to you – stand still, say nothing because millions died so you could have your right to free speech. Because you see, is it as Evelyn Beatrice Hall [not Voltaire] wrote …
“I disapprove of what you say but I will defend to my death your right to say it”