Remembrance

Sunday 8th November 1987 started like any other Sunday. Churchgoers all over Ireland prepared as they always did for the morning Service ahead. Many wore a poppy in memory of those who lost their lives in World War ONE and in many conflicts since then.

A nine year old young lady in this town made preparations of a different kind. She was to be part of the GJAM early morning programme on radio Ulster. George Jones the host of the programme invited youngsters to be live reporters on his very popular show. They were to prepare a short piece advertising events in their town during the incoming week.

This young lady wrote asking to be considered and received a favourable reply. She was to take part in the programme for the first three Sundays in November. For the first and second weeks she was phoned during the programme and she gave her report over the telephone, and for the third she was invited into the studio to meet George Jones and his team, to see how the programme was put together and to give her report live on air.

On 8th November, her second day to give a report this nine-year-old mentioned that it was Remembrance Sunday the day traditionally put aside to remember all those who have given their lives for the peace and freedom we enjoy today. The Poppies which are a symbol of the Charity run by the Royal British Legion are made by ex service men and women wounded in conflict. She went on to give details of other happier events due to happen in our town during the week.

When the programme was over our little family headed out to church sporting our poppies where we watched with pride while her dad a Burma veteran who carried the effects of war for the remainder of his life, laid the wreath at the church memorial tablet in memory of those who had given their lives in both world wars and in many conflicts since.

We arrived home in time to hear the lunchtime news and the horror caused by the Enniskillen Bombing. Many of you the world over will remember the face and words of Gordon Wilson, whose daughter Marie died in the bombing. She was not alone in death that day many families were devastated by death and injury.

War still rages in many parts of our world today. Such a waste of life and talent, how can we end it?

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10 thoughts on “Remembrance

  1. Grannymar,

    You sent me scurrying for my Wikopedia with this post.

    The entry for the Enniskillen Bombing brought most of that horrible day back to me. The more I thought about what the encyclopedia told me ,the better I recalled what I did know about that day.

    We had a local twist to the bombings. In our neighborhood we had a large Irish Restaurant. I won’t mention the name . It was an open secret that this place was a contribution center for the IRA. The people who frequented this place thought they were doing a good thing when they dropped money in the box in support of the IRA. They were probably not well informed about the situation in N.Ireland and thought they were aiding a good cause. UNTIL……

    The Enniskillen bombings and the famous Bono speech. He really took the people to task who were keeping the IRA in bullets and bombs with their money and almost immediately the contributions to the IRA at that restaurant and other places here in America dried up. It opened the eyes of people all over the World to the situation and the need for pressure on the governments involved to seek a diplomatic solution to the problem.

  2. Awful times GrannyMar. Such a useless pursuit. Look now at places of past conflict. We love to holiday in Vietnam and Cambodia, Ireland is more or less peaceful. Croatia and Serbia have become cheap holiday destinations too, hungry for the tourist dollar yet all were sites of such devastation, it makes me wonder what it was all for in the long run. We don’t celebrate poppy day here in any big way but we should. I wonder if in years to come, we’ll be travelling to Afghanistan or Iraq as tourists rather than combatants.

  3. We are told its all over. Yet today a young Policeman dropping his child at school and was about to drive away when a car drew up beside him and he was shot at close range. He recovered enough to drive to the nearest Police Station where someone took him to hospital.

  4. Grannymar – this morning I dutifully polished my 88 year old father’s war medals and brought them in to him in his nursing home. He is Irish but served in the Royal Navy throughout WW2. His eyes lit up when he saw his medals again and he will wear them with great pride on Sunday.

    We chatted about old times today and while Dad may have forgotten what he had for his lunch, he hadn’t forgotten about the wonderful forgiveness of Gordon Wilson twenty years ago today.

    My Mum lost her only two brothers (my uncles) in service in the RAF during WW2 (buried in France) and her family never really recovered from the loss.

    My parents are very proud to have a grandaughter (my daughter) called Poppy!

    Thank you, Grannymar for highlighting the importance of remembrance.

  5. Steph, so many Irish men served in both world wars and never received recognition for the part they played.

    My husband was English and his war (WW2) took him across the world to South Africa, India, Celyon and into Burma. His father before him had played his part in France during WW1.

  6. My Dad took part in the D-Day invasion (at sea). Luckily he survived that day and stayed on in the Navy for a further 5 years visiting India, Ceylon (Sri Lanka) and Singapore. He told me that for many years afterwards he never mentioned to anyone that he’d been in the British Forces for fear of recrimination. Sad, isn’t it and not much has changed today.

    There’s some interesting poetry from WW1 days to be found here
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/remembrance/poetry/wwone.shtml

    ‘For the Fallen’ by Laurence Binyon 1914

    They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
    Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
    At the going down of the sun and in the morning
    We will remember them.

  7. Steph,

    ‘For the Fallen’ is recited by all church congregations who hold a service of remembrance. It always makes the hair on the back of my neck stand on end.

  8. Nice memories, nice memories.

    I always stop on Rememberance Sunday and watch the cenotaph service on tv and never fail to gasp at the hypocrisy of the politicians who lay wreaths for the dead of past and present, some of whom would not be dead, wounded or mentally scarred if it wasn’t for the inability of politicians to find a conflict solution that does not involve killing people.

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