Saturday, November 10, 2007

We Will Remember Them

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.

The 11th of November is Remembrance Day in the UK, or Armistice Day as it was originally known (and still is in many Common Wealth countries). It is a day to commemorate the sacrifices of those who have fought and died in the wars, specifically since the First World War that ended on this date in 1918. On the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, we remember them and observe a two minute silence as a mark of respect. Wreaths are laid at monuments to the dead of the wars in every city, town and village in the country and the Queen and other notable dignitaries including the Prime Minister lay wreaths of poppies at the Cenotaph in London. In the preceding days in November, poppies are worn by people and the donations raised from the sale of these go to The Royal British Legion who help members of the Armed Forces and their families. The poppy has become the symbol of Remembrance Day as it grew in the fields of Flanders where many lost their lives in the First World War. They made the ultimate sacrifice for their country and for us and the least we can do is remember that.

The following clip comes from a comedy series called Black Adder which was set in the trenches of WWI where Captain Black Adder and his trusty troops tried throughout to avoid going 'over the top'. We had shared their adventures, laughed at their mishaps and silly plans so the last scene of the series came as a shock to everyone at the time as it was so unexpected, so touching and so profound. Here it is.

22 comments:

A Army Of (Cl)One said...

alway suprising when a comedy (and a wacky comedy at that) can have those moments that are profound. It is even better if the show doesn't beat you over the head with it like M.A.S.H.

hello from michele

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

This was wonderful B-K...! And as you said, unexpected and very very touching.
Here, too, it was called Amristace Day and now is called Veterans Day....A very solemn day, but one filled with grace and gratefullness for those who gave their lives to save the world, at that time, now, through all the subsequent wars. "In Flanfers Fields"...such a beautiful poem.

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Oh dear....FLANDERS...! Sorry about that.

craziequeen said...

You can't joke about Ypres (or as it was known 'Wipers') or the Somme or the other blood-soaked battlefields.

Somehow, all joking stops and one instictively becomes sombre and reflective - I have seen it through the years at the Military Remembrance Services.

'This is, as they say, It.'

cq
Michele sent me to give you a big ol'cyber hug, honey :-)

Bob-kat said...

I agree, you can't joke about the events themselves, but I think humour acts as a great counter point and underscores the tragedy of war at times, which is after all, a very human affair.

Archangel said...

I think a programme that featured the four main characters climbing out of a trench to die in a field of poppies has never been seen as a joke.

Blackadder is generally considered to be one of the most anti-war programmes you will find and a firm favourite of military personnel.

That scene couldn't be more appropriate.

gautami tripathy said...

As I am aware of it, thanks for letting us know. This is not something to be forgotten. We need to keep that in mind.

No, I was not going to skip you. My PC crashed and I couldn't connect for a while.

As you know, Michele did not send me this time.

kenju said...

I will have to come back and see you video after my grandchildren have left. They spent the night here and I cannot get more than a minute to myself until they leave. I love them, but it is trying at times.....LOL

R. Sherman said...

Thanks for this. We celebrate "Veterans Day" today. (And tomorrow, to give everyone a long weekend.) It is, in a way, tragic that so many people these days do not know a veteran. Perhaps it is because technology is making the armies smaller. A good thing, I admit.

Yet we lose something when we do not have the opportunity to talk to and with those who for no other reason than love of country and seemingly old fashioned ideas of honor and duty endured unimaginable hardship.

Cheers.

PI said...

Oh dear I hadn't seen that and tonight I am going to watch 'My Son Jack' - the tragic story of Kipling's son - killed in the first World War so it is a very sad day but fitting we should remember them and it isn't just us of course. I think it's called Veteran's Day in the States. God bless them all.

ribbiticus said...

great post! thanks for sharing the video. love rowan's work - reminds me so much of charlie chaplin. such poignancy behind the attempt to be humorous...hi from michele! ;)

Nikki-ann said...

We watched Blackadder Goes Forth on the coach during our WW1 Battlefields trip a few weeks ago. A brilliant series.

I watched the service on BBC1 this morning. It's always very moving.

BreadBox said...

I'm glad to see so many of my blog friends in the UK making note of the day today. Over here, the meaning of the day is forgotten in a mix of consumerism and militarism.

Michele sent me to note this.
N.

David said...

so many heroes, so few days to remember their gift to us.

I pledge to be more valiant in protecting their memory and never letting cowards and fools rewrite the story. Our children and grandchildren must know of the depths that real men and women went to to secure their vision of a sane, safe world.

diyadear said...

yes with veterans day coming up here in US, tribute to all those brave souls who fought for their countrymen.. Hope there are no more wars in this world..

Ps said...

I hadn't heard of this one--but used to watch M*A*S*H.
Isnt war so pointless? So many lives lost--so many family member lose their loved ones..
This day I think is good reminder that nobody really wins a war.

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Thnks for your visit, y dear B-K and your always encouraging words....I so wish YOU could see the garden "In Person" one day....It is quite wondereful, but believe me there are other gardens with these kinds of plants that are much more impressive...! IF I had the money, there is a lot a would do to make it that much more Beautiful...and easy to navigate...A lot of that wood of the steps has rotted out and is kind of dangerous----I would have it ALL redone or maybe even changed to something that would hold up better....Anyway, I love it no matter what! And I'm glad you do too....!

Sarch said...

Very touching. Being unfamiliar with the show and being from the other side of the pond I believe the closest thing I have to compare it with is MASH. However our tv show didn't end with such dignity.

JAM said...

There's nothing glorious about war, is there? But the millions of men and women who have died to keep free countries like ours free, deserve our love, respect, and honor. Wonderful post, Bobkat.

Shephard said...

Blackadder is one of my favorite TV series. :) I have it on DVD.

I love the poppy photo. Red poppies are another favorite.

Very nice post, very heartfelt.
~S

Carmi said...

Amen. Thank you for sharing this oh so important message. I think we risk repeating the mistakes of history if we forget the sacrifices of these heroes. We are free because of them. We could very well lose that freedom if we fail to remember.

Smiler said...

That really is very touching. I've always wondered about the number 11 because it shows up very often in my life, starting with my birthday which is on he 11h (but not in November). I was looking around a bit to try to find your photos since I loved the ones on "Beauty on the web" but I guess you'd have to point me in the right direction. Michele sent me today.