Today (by which I mean ‘yesterday’ because I forgot to click ‘save’ last night), in Britain, is Remembrance Sunday. The day we remember the ‘glorious dead’ of all the wars since 1914. It’s a complicated and emotional day for me (more so, I find, since my Dad died back in March). It’s a day when I feel like an especially pudgy and pointless middle-aged man while we remember the braver and less pointless men who died in defense of something I take for granted and winge about in approximately equal measure.
I observed today’s two-minute silence standing next to a rugby pitch where my nine year-old was busy training. The boys - girls too - lined up quietly against the low sun while the awful and inspiring stories of those other young men crowded in and made some of us cry.
My Dad (an undemonstrative man who did his national service just after WWII) would listen to the service from the Cenotaph on the radio, weeping every year on this day. This, in fact, is how I learnt that men could cry. He was crying for the men he knew and loved and for the brave men he didn’t know.
Here’s a small and lovely programme that’s full of memory and emotion, about the memorial and crematorium for Indian soldiers who fought and died for Britain. It’s on the South Downs above Brighton and sounds like a lovely place (MP3).
The pic shows Lt. Hardit Singh Malik, a Sikh airman during World War One. I got it from Sikh Heritage in Britain.