Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Lest we forget.

I wrote this last year and have read it a couple of times since. Each time I end up with tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat. There seems no need for new words.

"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. "


  1. Wow. Beautifully written. For once, I don't have any smart comment to make. You've left me speechless! A rare thing indeed.


  2. Beautifully written... it has moved me to tears. I've read it at 2 minutes past 11

  3. that is a lovely post - i have just watched the ceremony on the tv and as always have cried. remembering those brave men and women and looking at the three veterans, all in their 100s, i wonder what they are thinking. they will have gone where we cannot even imagine and i just wish no one else ever had to do that.

  4. I'm so glad that you've re-posted this. It is a beautifully written lesson.


    ps: word veri = "gathr" appropriate in that we all gather (virtally) to remember and honor.

  5. That was beautifully written and has brought tears to my eyes too.

  6. They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
    Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
    At the going down of the sun and in the morning
    We will remember them.

    Lest We Forget
    It always brings a tear to my eyes too

  7. What a magnificent post. So beautifully expressed.

  8. Really beautifully written Trashy. xxxx

    And I love the remembrance Donkey too!

  9. aaaaand I have goosebumps. Is it sad that I didn't know ANY of that!?! 11 11 and 11...never heard of it. Poppies?? No clue!

    But I won't forget now and I owe it all to trashalou. :) Love this. I'm totally going to start doing the two minutes of reflection. Thank you!!

  10. Every single year I cry when I think of all the symbolism surrounding the humble poppy. Every single year, I stand still on the 11th of the 11th at 11 o'clock, tears pouring down my face. I now no longer attend the special assembly in school, but have a quiet room of my own to reflect and cry in solitude. I always think of the mothers and how they had to find out from a telegram of their child's death.


  11. Thanks for visiting the other day. It is nice to see some Lest We Forget posts about. I did one about our school ceremony. It is so important to pass on the importance of this date to future generations.
    Thank you.

  12. I'm late reading this, but just wanted to say 'hear hear'. I made sure the kids observed the silence on Sunday, and No.1 and I observed it again yesterday (No.2 observed it at school, as the school stopped to pay their respects).

    It's important to teach them to remember.

    Fabulous post. x

  13. beautifully written. thanks for visiting my blog from SITS yesterday!