Remembrance Day

Poppies in a field

Today we remember the men and women who have served their country.  I am not a pacifist and I am grateful for the courage and sacrifices that have been made on my behalf.

At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them.

On a personal note, I was named in part after Wilfred Owen,  the First World War poet.  He fought heroically  in the Somme, and after medical treatment (the subject of Pat Barker’s book Regeneration) he returned voluntarily to the front. He was killed on 4th November 1918, just a week before the Armistice.  He was a courageous patriot who understood at first hand the horror of war. In 1917 he wrote Dulce et Decorum Est, one of the most expressive condemnations of war ever written:

If in some smothering dreams you too could pace 
Behind the wagon that we flung him in, 
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face, 
His hanging face, like a devil’s sick of sin; 
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood 
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs, 
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues, 
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory, 
The old Lie; Dulce et Decorum est 
Pro patria mori.

3 thoughts on “Remembrance Day”

  1. John

    I haven’t – I will put it on my Christmas list.

    Your site with your grandfather’s letters is a very moving tribute, and full of fascinating insights into his life. (Also, he looks just like you.)

    Thank you for sharing it.

    Kind regards

  2. An incident today brought home to me why it is important to keep remembering.

    I was in church (OK, OK, we’ve had that discussion), standing next to my 87-year old friend Marjorie. Her brother was a fighter pilot who was killed over France in 1943. As Marjorie gently dabbed at her eyes during the 2 minute silence, it was sobering to witness the long-lasting effect of war on individuals, even after 62 years.

    Long may we remember.

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