Remembrance Day is almost over for another year, and it is amazing to see how many people turned up to remember our fallen. Early November in the UK is all about Commemoration and Remembrance and this year was no different. It really starts when the first Poppy seller is seen setting up their stall and from then onwards things change as we look back at those who lost their lives in the two World Wars. Small red and black poppies start being seen everywhere and even the local shops decorate their windows accordingly. On the 11th at work the whole floor suddenly got quiet at 11 am. as we participated in the two minutes silence. It is not a compulsory thing, but that silence permeates thought the UK.
This year Remembrance Sunday was held on the 14th of November with the usual service at the Abbey and at the War Memorial.
It was a grey overcast day and in spite of the weather and pandemic people were already gathering at The Cross by 10H30.
On my way to the service I could see people streaming into the town: men, women, children and even pets all were a part of the event. Once the service ends at the Abbey the whole parade comes together and then march into town, encircling the memorial and preparing to to pay their respects.
A parade like this would not be the same without a rousing town band at it’s head and we are fortunate enough that our town has an amazing band that performs without missing a beat. Their dedication and professionalism is always appreciated and well received.
The parade is a long one, consisting of soldiers, sailors, airmen, boys, girls, scouts, cubs, teams and volunteers, and the column seemingly never gets any shorter, although the youngsters do seem to battle with the solemnity what is going around them. I have always asked myself whether the very young kids really appreciate why they are out their marching when they could be in bed sleeping, and a part of me always reminds me that they are the future of Remembrance, without their participation these parades will diminish until they cease to occur at all.
And then when everybody had arrived we all stood in silence for 2 minutes of our day, remembering those who never returned, and those who returned but were never the same again. We commemorate not only the servicemen and women but also those who kept the home fires burning and the thousands of widows and orphans that had their lives turned upside down by the death of their family members. In a country like the United Kingdom the memories of those two world wars is never far off and there are war memorials in every town, city and village.
Once the wreaths were laid the parade marches off, turns around and then marches past the war memorial. I was hoping to spot the saluting girl again this year but unfortunately did not see her. She is two years older since the last Remembrance Day parade, but I hope that she stood and saluted the way she did before.
The parade marched past the town hall and was then dispersed and we all returned to our homes and or memories. The fallen have not been forgotten and next year we will probably be back, irrespective of the pandemic or not.
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