I always find this day very moving. Obviously I’m not old enough to remember either the World Wars. However, my great grandfather was a RAF pilot and died in a tragic accident, during World War One. I remember being shown a newspaper clipping about a farmer who found his plane wreckage.
My grandfather, his son, served in the Army during World War Two. He didn’t talk much about his experiences while he was alive. During his time, he was part of a peacekeeping corp in France. I remember him talking about his unit having to remove dead German soldiers out of people’s gardens.
But I’ll never forget this next story. During a battle, I don’t know which one, a grenade was thrown and my grandfather’s friend threw himself on it.
Worse still, because a tank was coming, my grandfather had to sweep out of the way, his friend’s remains.
I can’t imagine what my grandfather went through. He was a hero. He was such a modest man and never claimed his medals.
What saddens me the most is when, not all that long before he died, he said he wonders why he bothered because we never learn.
I’m always moved by War veterans’ stories of their experiences in all wars and conflicts. I can see the sadness and trauma in their eyes. I’m truly grateful for these men and women’s sacrifices.
All countries, on whatever side they’re on, have suffered the immense loss of human lives.
I just wish that we would learn there is nothing to gain from war. Moreover, it saddens me that there are people in this world who want it.
Answering my grandfather’s question, he bothered because it was the right thing to do.
That’s all we can do, isn’t it?
This post is dedicated to you, grandad, and I wish I thanked you when you were alive for what you’ve done for this country.