As I do at this time, I forego my morning coffee and park myself In front of the television to watch the Remembrance Sunday Cenotaph. It is always moving, seeing those recognised places, the growing sea of races wanting to march past the monument. The growing contingent of Royals in attendance (sorry, but Prince Edward always looks like he has raided the dressing up box).
More and more as the years pass two things strike me. That the remembrance is not so much for the conscripted hundreds of thousands who, when the letter arrived, left their homes and their loved ones and showed up at the allotted time and place, received basic training and were scattered across the conflict zones to wage war; they did not choose a career path in our armed forces, they were ordered to and sent, but more about the career service personnel who have fallen or have suffered life changing injuries. I do not deny that all forces personnel need, deserve, warrant such a national service, it shows how war has changed into conflict, more survive (although injured), technology and cultures changing the faces of enemies.
The second thing, is that the young are further removed from the tangible WW’s, to understand the horrors, to appreciate at the time people did not know when or how things were going to end, people did not know whether their homes would still be standing, whether there would be enough food to cover the meagre rationing.
I know I do not have the strength and resolve of that generation.