On Remembrance Day

Today is Remembrance Day (Armistice Day) in the UK. At the eleventh hour on the eleventh day of the eleventh month 1918 the Armistice was signed, ending hostilities of “The Great War”. Today even the ladies in my slimming class managed to stop chattering for the 2 minutes silence held this morning at 11 a.m. to honour the fallen from all wars, as it is every year on this date at that time. I’m sure all of us have someone to remember, in my case my cousin Laurie Aubrey Wright, shot down over the Channel in 1944, aged just 21.  

 
 

laurie

Laurie Aubrey Wright - died 19 May 1944

Of course, I had never met him but I grew up with his story. When the opportunity arose a few years ago, I decided to do some research, never realising what a journey it would take me on. From the initial War Graves Commission enquiry, to internet research, finding people across the world as far flung as New Zealand (he belonged to a New Zealand squadron), and eventually to discovering that his two best friends are still alive! The highlight was meeting these two wonderful gentlemen at a memorial in London, and to find that one of them lives in the same town as me.
 
The research over 18 months made me see Laurie as a real person, and I finally felt I had come to know him. How sad, though, to die so young, like so many in that situation.
 
Although I am a pacifist and cannot see the point of war, I do realise there are many many men and women in horrific conflicts in the Middle East and elsewhere. We call them “heroes” and “brave”, and of course they must be to put themselves in those situations. (Please note this is not an anti-war rant, it’s only my point of view.)
 
I feel deep compassion for soldiers, policemen and –women, fire-fighters and all those who put themselves in danger so that we can live an easier life.
 
God bless you all …

 

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