11 November 2018

They gave their today for our tomorrow

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A hundred years ago to the day, the armistice was signed between the Allied Forces and Germany to end World War One. It seemed relevant that the ceremony at the Cenotaph in London today was attended by the President of Germany as well as the usual observers from the Royal Family, politicians, statesmen and clergy. It is high time to forget the hostilities that brought about that war and make peace. I have written before that both my grandfathers fought in that war on opposite sides. 
William
My English maternal grandfather William was in the Royal Artillery and survived Mons, Ypres, the Somme and Passchendaele. He was wounded at the latter in 1917 and lost an eye, taking him back home for the remainder of the war.
Erisch
My paternal grandfather Erisch was on the German side, fought both in France and later on the Russian front, was wounded in the leg and received the Iron Cross, something that sadly meant nothing when he (together with his young family) was kicked out of Germany in 1939 for marrying a Jewess.

When both men came together for the engagement of my mother and father in London, they were able to joke that they bet each was responsible for the other's injuries. It was good that they could bridge that gap and put aside the prejudices of war and nationality.  Amor omnia vincit. Love conquers all.

As I observe the 100 years celebration of the armistice, I wish that relations between Europe and the UK could easily be mended. But for those who gave their today for our tomorrow, France and Belgium would not exist in the way they do now.  Those leading protagnists in the EU should bear that in mind, when making life difficult for us merely to teach us a lesson over Brexit. With time of the essence, maybe a deal can be struck where neither side loses face but remembers, above all, how lucky we are and how thankful we should be to be able to vote in a free and democratic way.

2 comments:

K Ville said...

I don’t understand the world we live in today. Nationalistic people shouting about poppies and sovereignty doing nazi salutes whilst claiming to be defending what their relatives fought for. This sort of closed thinking will only take us on the road of violence. We might ‘remember them’ but we no longer truly understand the feelings of the generations that lived through it all. With that understanding gone we are starting the clock to repeat it all again. It’s a sorry state.

Yorkshire Pudding said...

A salutary post.