Sunday, November 12, 2006

Lest we forget

Remembrance day was today and I spent the majority of it at services. As a member of St John Ambulance I helped to cover the main service in the town centre. The service was moving and a pleasure to watch over. The one thing that slightly spoilt the day for me was during the two minute silence, when a family strolled over, stood in front of us and started having a conversation. You'd think that with everybody else being quiet, they would have gotten at least a hint that they shouldn't be speaking, but no, they seemed to be fairly oblivious. Now I dont have a problem with people who personally don't want to observe the two minute silence, but they should have the decency to go elsewhere and conduct their conversation there, rather than distracting those who are trying to pay their respects for those who died in battle. Just my two pence worth.

The second service we attended was a spur of the moment thing for me, as a friend of mine who was giving me a lift mentioned he was going, so why not. I got there and was horrified to find that first aid cover was technically not needed there, and that we all had to march in the parade. St John Ambulance has a military side to it, which involves drill practice etc. Having joined at University I had not been exposed to that side of it (and dont think i'd have lasted very long in the organisation if I had). So this led to things being said like "Right dress" and me standing around wondering what the hell it meant. I don't seem to know my right from my left, and the girl in front of me, bless her, could not swing her opposite arm to opposite leg, so I had to concentrate on someone else to keep step as she was confusing me. Finally I had my fmb's on and they really hurt me when we had to stay still for long periods of time. Never again.

I wasn't impressed with the sermon at the service either, it was patronising. Yes I did agree with many of the points, but I disagreed with others. War is something I am strongly against, many people lose their lives, and the thought of it makes me feel ill. I think Captain Hawkeye Pierce put it best when he said that war was worse than hell, because "In hell, there are no innocent bystanders, war is full of them." I recognise the sacrifice these men and women made, and I respect them deeply, but I have no respect for the reason why they died. I understand that there can be "just" wars, but a lot of wars aren't always "just".

Anyway, before this turns into another rant I'd just like to remember the men and women who have died in any war, the war veterans, and the families who have lost loved ons in combat. May we never forget their sacrifice.

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