WE WILL REMEMBER THEM
I used to stand for a number of years at the local cenotaph ; Every rememberance day from when I was 11 years old until I was 16 . I would be immaculately dressed in my naval (sea cadet) uniform and be waiting for my cue to sound the last post on my bugle. I would stand in the cold November rain and attempt to keep my lips from freezing. That first blast was always the scariest but fortunately I usually did an excellent job and was aware I moved something in the memories of many also standing there. My grandfather fought in the trenches and was wounded, then recovered and was sent back only to be wounded again. He carried those pieces of shrapnel around in his body for the rest of his life and he was lucky! He often would express his hate for the Germans even many years after the war. Next week I will be meeting someone who will be flying over from Germany to view my boat and hopefully he will buy it. I wonder what my old grandad would think of that? But Back at the cenotaph, I would occasionally look up and into the crowd of people gathered there. Almost hidden, and determined to be inconspicuous I would see my mother. I would always ask her not to come along, as you do when your a young teenager but would recognise that pride in her face with me at being so smartly turned out. As a parent myself, I now think back; why would I have wanted to deny her that experience? I suppose as parents, we all want our kids to do well at something and back then the only thing I seemed to shine at was playing an instrument that could only play 5 notes! I like to think I have achieved a little more since then. Rudyard Kipling wanted to be proud of his son, so much so he engineered his visually impaired son into the army to fight for King and Country but then he sadly lost his Life. Of course that sort of thing could never happen today could it? I mean those servicemen going off to war now have a much greater cause….don’t they? I find it hard to be patriotic these days but I know when I drive up to view the boat with a German national, in my mind I`ll be thinking….Don’t mention the war! I want Britain out of Europe and have no wish to fight anyone. After all we are all the same really. Out of all the boats anyone could buy this bloke wants to own the same one I chose a few years ago. We certainly would seem to have a lot in common and at the very least share the same taste in boats. I don’t meet many people from other lands these days but I still have that incongruity of mind that is aware of the passions that fade in only a generation: from friend to foe and foe to friend. Will any of my children be `fraternising` with the enemy when they are my age? The enemy is being created as I write by those people who would have our children fight in wars and risk their lives but they would not themselves risk. Todays enemy and tomorrows are the same as yesterday. I hate only those that pervert the universal truth that we are all equal and are born with our rights. They are not granted to us by goverments whether it is Westminster or the EU. Anyone, any thing that believes otherwise is my enemy and unfortunately for me I believe I am slightly outnumbered!