I must admit I can generally be quite immune to things like Poppy Day. There is a certain insincerity about a politician who, in one breath, says “we will remember the fallen” and who, in the next breath, is ordering troops to drop bombs on people. The single most important lesson we must take from conflicts is that we should avoid the failure of dialogue, where we can, to prevent this sacrifice from ever being required again, and frankly, I think some politicians have trouble with that “where we can” bit. They’re far too willing to give up on dialogue in favour of force, especially now that we (the western powers) have the means to fight wars remotely, such that the public don’t experience the horror of war.
Anyway, I saw this clip on social media – I’ll post the link to Facebook but I’ve managed to download a copy of the video and upload it to my blog, just in case. This is obviously as we are coming up to the 75th anniversary of the Normandy Landings. I used to visit the Normandy a lot and know the debarquement beaches very well, including the serenity of these cemeteries. Listen to the May birds singing in this video. The caption alongside the video reads:
Veteran Alan King, East Riding Yeomanry, at the grave of his friend Louis Wilkes, who he carried from his Tank after Louis had been hit in the head by a sniper. He could not save him. Never Forget.
This sums it all up for me. No politicians with crocodile tears, no cenotaph, no world leaders, no tv cameras, just a guy paying his respects to his comrade.