We gathered in Church Square on Sunday morning for the annual Remembrance Day Parade involving the military, the M.O.T.H.S and schools along with various other representatives of the community.
When set against the broader context of ongoing violence elsewhere in the world, the recent xenophobic attacks, student protests and vandalism of monuments in our town seem small beer. Any form of unrest, however, rocks a community in subtle ways that reverberate for some time after the surface ‘wounds’ have apparently healed.
This was a good time for young and old to gather in remembrance of the many who died in conflicts that now cover an ever-stretching span of years and places. As the guard of honour took their places around the cenotaph, and uniformed members of the military and police gathered in solemn rows alongside uniformed school children all clutching wreaths, it was easy to believe in the probity of those who are charged with guiding the young, protecting our citizens and keeping our country safe.
We gathered as a community melded from different backgrounds and with different interests and affiliations. Among us were those who had lost comrades and loved ones in some of the conflicts and others too young to appreciate the significance of people wearing paper poppies. They will learn, for it is the way memories are passed on. The images below reflect a little of the occasion.
It was not a time to glorify war, but to remember those who did not come home. In the words of Laurence Binyon
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.