With the last 30 Days Hath November post in mind (in which I shared that I crave a minute or two to myself) I would like to honour a special day:
Today is Remembrance Day and although I didn’t observe the 1-2 Minute Silence at 11.11am and I didn’t have a Poppy this year ( 😦 I know…) I still want to express my gratitude for the brave and the scared, the men and women who have fought to free the world from a fascist and dangerous regime.
|My dad’s dad with Lime – December 2010|
A lot of people are of the opinion that we should forget and not look back. But why? Why turn our backs and ignore? Would those people say the same about the wars and conflicts happening in the rest of the world TODAY? It is dangerous to forget the past. There’s so much to learn from it and sadly, the number of survivors of the wars of the 20th century is falling and with them fade the memories. Many have still not talked about theirs.
|My mum’s dad as a soldier|
My grandparents have, only very late in life, started talking about it and only with much pain. My mum’s dad, who sadly passed away in 2002, was a prisoner of war in France and one of his few stories he was able to share was about how he just about survived a bomb which went of where they were imprisoned. He needed the loo and left his ‚hole in the side of a hill‘ and as he was attending to his business a grenade or whatever it was went off and killed most if not everyone who was in those cells. (I have to say, he told us this years and years ago so I’m not sure about holes in hills but that’s just detail). To this day I am amazed by this and horrified. What if he hadn’t needed the loo? I wouldn’t be here to tell you this story! Scary.
My dad’s dad talks only about his memories when he had a beer or two. He was quite young when WWII happened but he signed up but was caught when on his way to Berlin. He was sent to Russia, up to St Petersburg (then Leningrad) I believe and he was in a camp. It was a death sentence, he said. He lost so much weight. And when he was freed, he had to walk back for most of the way. He went back there by plane years later. His memories are jumbled, not much makes sense but the essence is clear: hell and pain.
I ‚love‘ hearing those stories, not just from my grandparents (my mum’s parents hid a young girl from the Nazis) but from whoever was there. I am fascinated and horrified in equal measures. It puts everything into perspective. We should never take for granted what we have and what we are able to do and by turning our backs we do just that.