Monday, 12 November 2012

Requiescant in pace

Some years ago a chap I know online demonstrated the distaste he felt for Remembrance Sunday. You may have read that and assumed that he was some "deranged peacenik" and that he held a violent contempt for soldiers, sailors and airmen. No. He is a serving officer, and of an Army family, so he's neither wholly pacific nor filled with loathing for the people he serves with every day. He was annoyed because he feels that every year on the eleventh day of the eleventh month everyone remembers the fallen, and for the other three hundred and sixty-four or five days nobody so much as thinks of the dead and their sacrifices. Yesterday at eleven o'clock we all paused for a minute to recall the fallen. Will we all pause at eleven o'clock today?


  1. With all due respect I've heard that fatuous argument before. We need to live our lives, we can't spend all our time philosophically musing on existence and the various atrocities and sacrifices made throughout human existence. Remembrance Sunday is a gentle prod, and a gentle reminder to all people that we should collectively try not to forget the sacrifice made by soldiers of the past, and every day now in Iraq and Afghanistan. I am however against turning it into a national holiday. It shouldn't be.

    1. I have worded it poorly if that's the message that's come across. I think it's probably because I specified eleven o'clock, isn't it? I agree that we can't spend all our lives feeling sad about death. My friend's point was that some people only think about this about once a year, and then drop the subject the rest of the time, which is something of a tragic sham. There's a bit at the end of A Christmas Carol which has a similar resonance: Scrooge promises to keep Christmas in his heart every day. Obviously, we can't act as though it's Christmas every day any more than we can act as though it's a memorial to the fallen every day. But bearing in mind such important things from time to time is a good idea, and that's all I meant to say.


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