sw poppies

Today is Remembrance Sunday and I feel strongly about honouring and remembering our armed services who have served in conflict around the world.  This afternoon, I took the children to the annual Remembrance Day parade in town, it was a wet afternoon but there was an impressive crowd of all ages.  It was a simple parade, an old WW2 vehicle leading, enabling some of the more infirm veterans to participate, a pipe band providing the music, a group of veterans proudly parading in their uniforms and medals, local dignitaries and public service organisations and then current soldiers from a local garrison.  We watched the parade, which paraded first to the parish church for a short service and then to the war memorial for the wreath laying ceremony.   During the service, I took the children to the war memorial which already had a number of wreaths around it despite the official ceremony not having taken place.  I wanted to show the children the memorial up close, Little Man had been talking about soldiers names and I wanted to see if we could find a soldier who shared his name on the memorial, unfortunately it was simply initials for the first names so we weren’t able to but we did find multiple entries for some family names, it was quite emotional discussing with the children that these men may have been brothers, cousins etc..

Finding a soldier with your name or birthday was always an activity we used to do when as a French teacher, I helped to run  school trips to Normandy.  The rows of graves at the Commonwealth cemeteries was so powerful and we liked to think that this activity helped our students have a special link with a fallen soldier, rather than be overwhelmed by the sight of all the graves.


There has been much in the news of the art installation, Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red at the Tower of London, where in the moat they have planted more than 880,000 ceramic poppies to represent the Commonwealth dead of WW1.  I have not been able to visit it but it is stunning and such a powerful and emotive memorial.  I have purchased one of the ceramic poppies, which will raise money for armed forces charities and am looking forward to displaying it in our home.  We will remember them…


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