Monday, 14 November 2011

Poppy Sunday

Remembrance service at St. Michael’s, Bedford Park. Beautiful singing by choir and good bit of organ blast during the National Anthem, before we trooped out to the small war-memorial. Not quite enough strength there though, as if the poor old organ can’t rev up enough.

During the silence, disturbed only by the buses beyond the hedge, it was hard to know what to focus on. My mind flitted about, there are so many people to remember; that young man filmed while being shot through the head in Vietnam. Edith Stein going off in the cattle truck to Auschwitz. Edith Frank, Sophie Scholl, Wilfred Owen dying so near the end of his war. Marshal Foch who lost his son and son-in-law on the same day.

The Great War remains upper-most, the day is still really about them. And it’s still infuriating that the whole thing happened at all – an unnecessary catastrophe, off shoot of a worthless struggle about empire, which led to even more social collapse, and hecatombs of dead. I don’t mean that the empire was entirely worthless, but going to war with Germany about it was like two thieves fighting over stolen goods.

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