I was in Truro, shopping. Some shops announced that they would be observing the silence, most did not. I was near the cathedral and a handful of us stood for the two minutes, but not the number I had expected to see.
It was in the forefront of my mind anyway as I've been reading the war records of a family member. He was lucky enough to survive, as did others I've been researching. Not so lucky was Great Uncle George who signed up as a 15 year old boy in 1914. He was sent to fight in the trenches in France, was wounded, and when his age was found out he was sent home to safety and recovery. Sadly he became 18 before the war ended and was called up to fight again in 1918. He knew what he was going back to, and he didn't want to go. My grandmother told me he was terrified but he had to go. Imagine the anguish of his parents and siblings. He survived only a few weeks and has no grave, only his name on the Soissons Memorial, Aisne.
I think of him, and all the young lives that have been lost to war. The greatest tragedy is that it will never end.
Never assume anything - except an occasional air of intelligence.
I sometimes wonder what we are meant to remember in all the confusion today. To me I remember those that have fallen but also, to me just as important to remember why it happened and the greed and stupidity that lead up to the second world war. I wonder if that is why the younger generation are not remembering? All they see is remembering a lot of people killed many years ago but don't see that the importance of standing up to the likes of Hitler.
Here in Latvia the situation is even more confused because the end of the war just meant they were then stuck under a Soviet regime. Remembering the fallen in the war is a painful thing as men died on both sides with families torn apart over loyalties. Did they side with the Nazis against a repressive regime as they saw it even then? Or did they side with the Soviets against another repressive regime? Remembering the fallen cannot bring with it the surety that they died for freedom, they did not get that for over 40 years. Strange how things look from different perspectives
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