Monday, 11 November 2019

Remembrance Day 2019 ~ Bridgewater

For Remembrance Day 2019, I went to the service held in Bridgewater. The weather was absolutely perfect for this beautiful occasion, the bright and warm sunshine provided the perfect backdrop to perhaps the best Remembrance Service I have ever attended.

Bridgewater’s very attractive Veterans Memorial Park had a complete make-over in 2005 and was dedicated on August 14th of that year. As part of the redesign, the grounds of the park were upgraded, making it more accessible for wheelchair and walker use. At that same time, the Cenotaph and West Nova Scotia Regiment/Merchant Navy Monument were refurbished together with the unveiling of new Honour Roll Monuments all made of striking black granite.

For me, November 11th has always been and will remain as the most important date on the calendar. In my 58 years, I may well have attended 50 plus remembrance services. Such services in the United Kingdom were always held on Remembrance Sunday, this being the Sunday closest to November 11th ~ Armistice Day, the anniversary of the end of WWI hostilities in 1918.
I have vivid memories of some early Remembrance Sundays’ as young Cub Scout in my home town in Scotland, marching proudly from the village Old Parish Church which dates from 1774 to the Memorial Park. At that time within those lines of marchers would be many veterans from WWI, WWII, Korea and perhaps even the Boer War.

As time continues to move on, the living memory of those who bore witness too and fought in the great conflicts of the 20th century are fading into the past, my hope is that future generations will always acknowledge the courage and sacrifice of those who served their country, and recognize it is their responsibility to work for the peace that others fought so hard to achieve.
The acknowledgement of that “courage and sacrifice” should not be limited to November 11th, it should be with us every day. For me, that recognition has a very personal and significant meaning on a number of levels, in particular for my relatives who fought in both WWI and WWII and now lie in foreign fields.

Below a poem written by Normandy Veteran Ken Hay MBE, about those who lie in foreign fields ~

But never do we question, why we journey across the waves.
Tis why you’ll find us stood in tears, head bowed among the graves.
And as we look at those sad sad stones, we ask the question why?
Why me that stands above in life, whilst they in death do lie.
Sadly, they lie in foreign fields, beneath a foreign soil.
Their stones record their names and dates they parted from life’s toil.
They gave their all, that you and I, would live a life at peace.
So here we lie still for all time under this foreign sod, some with name and number above, some known but to God.
When you go home, tell them of us and say ~
For your tomorrow, we gave our today.











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