Sunday 13 November 2011

Why I Remember

A Garden of Poppies, Westminster Abbey
I have always, for as long as I can remember, observed the 2 minute silence for Rememberance Day, and now I live in England, we observe both the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, as well as Remeberance Sunday. I also observe ANZAC day, and encourage Joseph to do the same.

I've heard it said that remembering glorifies war, but only those who think this can never have truly been touched by war.

My father fought in World War II though he speaks little of it. Back in the late 40s there was no treatment for PTSD, no counselling, you got on with your life, put it behind you. But it doesn't work that way. Like many ex-servicemen, medication has been found in a bottle.

I remember one of my great uncles telling me about his experiences in Changi, and feeling shocked to the core about man's inhumanity to man. I was 16. I could barely believe my ears, and could see the ravages of his imprisonment in his tired body. Due to the abuse he suffered he had life long intestinal problems.

The recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as action in Libya, make us more aware that these servicemen and women need our care, our respect, and our support. We need to care for them, not just now, but forever.

If this message has touched you, please support our servicemen and women. Simon is running 100 marathons in 100 weeks to raise money for Help for Heroes. Simon also works to raise awareness of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I personally think he's amazing, and selfless and urge you to give what you can to help.


  1. I will teach my child what remembrance is all about and why we wear poppies. One of the things that makes me remember is my great great great uncle was the first man shot after the the end of world war one had ended. He was shot at 11.12, where he was, word hadn't reached them yet. I will always make sure Layla and any children she may have will always remember too.

  2. Remembrance day was my Grandad's birthday, so always a positive day for me. I agree that those who say it glorifies war don't understand. Remembrance Day is not a glorification of war, it is a glorification of peace. It is also a glorification of ordinary human beings who, when they felt there were no peaceful options left, chose to put their lives on the line to protect the freedom of strangers. There is no shame in remembering and respecting people who died, often for reasons that, certainly in recent years, just weren't good enough.