Memorial: grief and celebration

Last weekend (June 29), it was the fifth national Armed Forces Day in the UK. The day aimed to raise public awareness of the contribution made by those who serve and have served in Her Majesty’s Armed Forces. It also gave people an opportunity to show their support for the Armed Forces community.

Lorelle wrote about how United States celebrated Memorial Day (originally known as Decoration Day) on May 27,  a day “dedicated to remembering those who died while serving in the United States military services.” The BBC also reported that Memorial Day honoured the dead in US conflicts from the Civil War through Korea and Afghanistan.

Armed Forces Day and Memorial Day are linked. Whatever views we may have about wars (euphemistically ‘conflicts’), especially modern wars, we learn from history about mistakes, sacrifices and bravery. We learn about humility.

My friend Shimon from Jerusalem, in the human picture blog, wrote movingly in this beautiful post: Loving our Neighbor. Life carries grief, but it also brings celebration of freedom, independence and love.

“… And we grieve for the mass murder of a third of our people in the holocaust. And we grieve for all the soldiers who died in wars to defend our people and our society. But we celebrate too. We celebrate freedom and independence and love, and the renewal of our ancient state. … we will grieve all the soldiers who died to insure that very independence.”

~ Quote from Shimon Z ~

I was in Winchester yesterday, and I saw how the Armed Forces are honoured in a practical way, by a local pub. “Armed Forces Week: 25% off food, with a Forces ID.” 

90, o'neill's pub in Winchester

90, o’neill’s pub in Winchester

Everyday I would walk past the parish church to get to work. Outside the church is a prominent cenotaph. Living in the UK, I’m always moved by cenotaphs that I’ve seen and I’ve taken a lot of photographs of them.

Cenotaph at St. Boniface church, Chandler's Ford

Cenotaph at St. Boniface church, Chandler’s Ford

Cenotaph at St. Boniface church, Chandler's Ford

Remembering the fallen

In recent years, I’ve supported a charity called Help for Heroes through a colleague. This charity provides direct and practical support to wounded, injured and sick service personnel, veterans, and their families. My colleague told me stories of the horrible injuries suffered by the soldiers he visited.

You may have seen the distinct blue and red wristband:

Help for heroes wristband

Help for heroes wristband

You can find more Blog Exercises on . This is a year-long challenge to help you flex your blogging muscles.

My Related Posts:

“Their name liveth for evermore” – Brookwood Military Cemetery
Visiting Brookwood Military Cemetery
Stockport Air Raid Shelters
Morning scenes in my neighbourhood in Chandler’s Ford
Can spinach make you strong like Popeye? Blogging about mistakes

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21 thoughts on “Memorial: grief and celebration

    1. Janet Williams Post author

      Hi Shimon,

      Cenotaphs are in many parks and even some woodlands. They’re many of them around me. I’ve found the explanation on this school page concise and useful. The Cenotaph in London – Rememberance day.

      I took my son to London early this year, and we walked along the parliament, and walked past the most famous cenotaph in Whitehall, London. It’s very close to No 10 Downing Street.

      A Cambridge history student was jailed in 2011 for violence during student protests. He was photographed hanging from a union flag on the Cenotaph. For many, it was an offensive behaviour. The BBC news report: Charlie Gilmour ‘did not realise he was on Cenotaph’

      Reply
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