Monday, 11 November 2013

Lest we Forget

Remembrance has featured quite prominently in our household recently, what with our trip to Ypres a couple of weeks ago and, now, Poppy Day.

Charlie has - as any inquisitive five-year-old would - been asking questions in an effort to understand why we wear those little red flowers, who it is we're remembering and why it's the Last and not the First Post played before the silence.

I took him to the ceremony at our local Cenotaph yesterday and was amazed (having not been for a couple of years) to see it so crowded. On the eve of the 100th anniversary of World War One you might expect interest to wane slightly or attendance at such ceremonies to fall away. 

But of course, in spite of the fact that (as I've told Charlie) we wear those little red poppies because they're the flowers that grow in the fields where World War One was once fought, Remembrance is for those who've served in all conflicts and there has been an increasing number of those in recent years. 

Other answers to his questions have included the following...

No, there isn't a first (or second, or third) post. They play the Last Post because that's the last thing played at army camps before the soldiers go to bed. And that jolly tune (after The Silence) called Reveille is what was played first thing in the morning.

Like the soldier's alarm clock?

Yes Charlie, like the soldier's alarm clock.

I can remember something that they said at the Menin Gate when we heard them play the Last Post there. 

Really, what was that?

Remember... (So far, so good!) Yes - remember, remember the fifth of November.

Ah, no. That's something different. That's Bonfire Night and the Gunpowder Plot. Here (and at the

Menin Gate) they say 'We Will Remember Them', meaning all the soldiers who have died fighting in all wars everywhere.

But if we don't know them, how can we remember them? We don't know their names.

Well no, we don't but when we say we will remember them it means we're thinking about what they've done for us and how many people went to fight in wars but never came back.   

And to remember not to do it all again?

Well yes, Charlie. To try to remember not to do it all again.


If only...


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