It is amazing to think that today, November 11 2008 represents the 90th anniversary of the end of ‘the war to end all wars’.
Britain lost almost a million men during this war. A million sons. Think about that for a second when you are having a bad day because the fax machine is jammed.
For me, today is one of the most important days of the year. And I think it is testiment to this great country of ours, that with the passing of time, the shared emotion of rememberance seems to get stronger and stronger. As individuals, and as a nation we join together in remembering and thanking all those heros, not just in the First World War, but in the Second World War, The Falklands, Iraq, and all the other conflicts and battles. These guys lay down their lives for us so we can sleep peacefully at night, and for that I thank you.
The BBC as always have masses of information and ways of remembering. I urge you all to check out their webpages at http://www.bbc.co.uk/remembrance/
Also, the National Archives has made some of their fascinating audio records available through their ‘voices of the armistice’ project. These podcasts are free to listen to on their website, and includes a rendition of Haig’s war diary from 11.11.18, an account of a gas attack in May 1915 and extracts of the personal diary of Private Pattenden of 1st Battalion, Hampshire Regiment. Fascinating stuff.
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.
Laurence Binyon (1869-1943)