Monday, 12 November 2007

Not what I expected.

This is my 50th post.

As seems (and rightly so) to be the form in the part of the blogosphere I spend most time a big number post is an occasion for celebration. I had great plans for this to be the one where the whistles, bells, party hats and streamers came out.


There might even have been a giveaway; of course it would have to be something I loved so that if nobody else joined in I would be more than happy to keep it for myself. (Selfish? Moi?)


But 'workingmomknits' left a comment on Post #49 that asked about the significance of the poppy flower and November 11 so I am using this auspicious post for a much more worthwhile use of words. Simply put W.M.K., November 11 is like the US Veterans Day. Most likely it is why the US has chosen that date.


At the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1918 the ceasefire of World War 1 was officially declared. It was months before the war was officially over but the killing stopped.


So here in the UK at 11'o'clock on the 11th of the 11th every year a two minute silence is observed. Two minutes in which to be still and remember.


Officially it is to remember the soldiers of all the conflicts since the 1914/18. But I like to remember more


Remember the ones who died. Remember the ones who lived. Remember the ones who fought with faith and conviction. Remember the ones who fought only for their 'brothers in arms'. Remember the ones who ran away from the fighting, those shot for cowardice and desertion when they were simply young boys who cracked. I spend my two minutes thinking of the women and children who stayed at home waiting. Of the volunteers who joined up because it was a man's duty to protect and serve. Of the men and women who were conscripted.


During those two minutes, as the tears roll down my cheeks and the lump in my throat becomes more dense, I think of the old men laying a wreath in memoria to their lost friends, of the men and women serving now around the world. I observe the two minute silence because for me it is important to value the lives lost, whose ever they were, during the futility that is war.




The poppy is a simple flower. It will blossom anywhere, on any soil. It was the first flower to bloom again on the Western Front after the fighting stopped. Its symbolism is potent. It does not commemorate war but celebrates the value of peace.

54 comments:

  1. That's a fantastic 50th post - well done you! I always watch the ceremony from the Cenotaph, with a tear rolling down my cheek. This year the kids were, perhaps for the first time, able to understand why I was asking them to respect the silence - so we all did.

    The 11th November is a special day, and I hope it always remains a special day.

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  2. *speechless at the beauty of your post*

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  3. Wonderful use of a 50th post. I never really got remembrance day when I was a kid. Now I do.

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  4. Beautiful and I think a great way to celebrate your 50th post xxx

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  5. At the going down of the sun and in the morning We will remember them.

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  6. Fantastic post and thank you so much. My son is now a veteran of the Iraq war. He lost two friends from his own unit over there and our neighbors lost their son.
    Your post choked me up.
    Many thanks for sharing.
    Jan

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  7. What a touching post! Congrats on your Sits love day! I look forward to having one myself. Blogging is much better when you have readers!

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  8. As the daughter and granddaughter of veterans (Grandpa served in WWII, Dad served during Vietnam), this post totally choked me up. It is lovely - thanks for writing it.

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  9. I love the symbolism of the poppy flower. Very touching post. :o)

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  10. beautiful sentiments, thank you.

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  11. Very well put. I know what November 11 is to commemorate, but now I will have try to do as you do and remember all who are impacted by war.

    Thank you is not enough, but it is what should be said to every miltary person when you see them.

    My mother's birthday is also on November 11, it is a nice reminder.

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  12. Beautiful...and well written!

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  13. Your words are so beautiful and touching!

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  14. Very beautiful sentiments and well written. We should always remember those who have given so much.

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  15. It's a wonderful message to hear in this day and time, too. Go, peace!

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  16. Very beautiful words and well spoken. I am so proud of all the men, women and children that sacrificed in every office and way.

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  17. Beautifully written. Lovely sentiment.

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  18. Great post!!!

    When I was growing up in NZ, I lived in a small town. Matamata (Hobbiton) to be exact. Evey Anzac Day, kids from the local school Army cadet Corps, Scouts, Girl Guides and Boys Brigade used to stand guard at the Cenotaph.

    I was in the Girl Guides and usually took my turn at the dawn Ceremony. Thinking back on that time brings tears to my eyes. The old soldiers standing at attention as the sun started to rise. the wreath laying. The sound of the lone bugler playing Taps and Reville in the distance.

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  19. What a beautiful post and lovely sentiment. I just found you through SITS and I'm glad to have started here!

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  20. Congratulations on your SITS feature.

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  21. Thanks so much for sharing. Very sad and touching and it deserves a pause.

    Happy SITS day!

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  22. I've never heard that about the poppy. Thanks.

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  23. I lllloooovvvve poppies but never heard this before. Thanks for sharing.

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  24. This is beautifully written and very poignant. Also very timely, considering our world today.

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  25. That was absolutely beautiful. Thank you for sharing that!

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  26. BEAUTIFUL post - congrats on your SITS day!

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  27. Such a wonderful post.

    Happy SITS day!

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  28. Come this November 11th, at the eleventh hour I too will devote 2 minutes to those from every part of the world who have sacrificed for peace.
    A lovely post!
    :-)

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  29. What a beautiful post. I will always look at poppies differently now.

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  30. What a lovely use of words. Happy SITSday!

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  31. That was a really lovely post. In Canada too, we celebrate Remembrance Day with a couple of minutes of silence and the poppies are always an important symbol. And every child is taught the poem "in Flanders Fields".


    In Flanders Fields
    By: Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918)
    Canadian Army

    IN FLANDERS FIELDS the poppies blow
    Between the crosses row on row,
    That mark our place; and in the sky
    The larks, still bravely singing, fly
    Scarce heard amid the guns below.

    We are the Dead. Short days ago
    We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
    Loved and were loved, and now we lie
    In Flanders fields.

    Take up our quarrel with the foe:
    To you from failing hands we throw
    The torch; be yours to hold it high.
    If ye break faith with us who die
    We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
    In Flanders fields.

    It's a poignant reminder.

    Congrats on being a SITS girl.

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  32. How wonderful that our veterans are remembered.

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  33. WOW very moving thanks for sharing that.

    HAPPY SITS DAY!!

    Jessica
    MomDot Street Team

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  34. Beautifully written post, esp fitting for your 50th.
    Congrats on your SITS day, enjoy it.

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  35. Wow!! What a fantastic post...what a great way to honor those men and women!
    Happy SITS day!!!

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  36. what a brilliantly poignant use of your 50th post! i love it! thank you for sharing your heart with us!

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  37. All I can say is Amen...Amen!!! You did complete justice to the 50th post.
    Congrats on your SITS day.

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  38. Leave it to you to explain a bit of American history! Hee hee. Thank you.

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  39. Aside from being beautiful, this post taught me what the poppy flower symbolizes. I learned something new today!

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  40. Nicely put. Congrats on being featured today!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  41. So very true. I am a military child, member and now spouse. I remember.

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  42. Very well written. Thank you.

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  43. Great 50th post! Thank you for sharing!

    And Congrats on being the SITS FB!

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  44. Wow. I had no idea. So many of us get caught up in recognizing the holiday for getting the day of work instead of remembering what happened that particular day to change our world. Thank you for giving me a new perspective!

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  45. How poignant and thought-provoking.

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  46. So sweet. And so much more meaningful than you'll find anywhere (or just about anywhere) in the States.

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  47. Wow. Thank you.

    Congrats on your SITS day.

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  48. Oh this is so beautiful. I love how you wrote this and just how significant it is. thank you so much for sharing that.

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  49. Wow. That is so powerful. I am a bit choked up!

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  50. I've never heard of this. Why don't we have reflection times in the U.S?? Or do we??

    Great post!

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  51. Nice post. I learned and loved what I learned here today.

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