Sunday, 14 November 2010

Remembrance Sunday

The opening of the film "Saving Private Ryan", with the scenes of death and carnage portrayed, are probably the most harrowing pictures of war that have been shown on the cinema screen in the name of entertainment. The landings on five Normandy beaches, codenamed Juno, Gold, Omaha, Utah, and Sword, signified the beginning of the end of a war fought to preserve freedoms that the Allies - and Britain in particular - were known to exemplify and cherish.

Traditionally, on Remembrance Sunday, the Leaders of the main political parties have laid wreaths at the Cenotaph to honour those who laid down their lives that others might remain free.Were the voices of those men and women, to whom homage is paid on this day, able to be heard, what would they say? Would they be proud of what they survey, or would they feel that their ultimate sacrifice had been in vain? Were they to attach blame, as they surely would, at whom would that blame be levied? The politicians of the last few decades, or the people who, through seeming indifference, allowed the politicians to bring what was a great country, to its knees both financially, morally and spiritually?

Those taking part in the Remembrance Day ceremony, those who attend in person, those watching on television, who hear the solemn words of service spoken and who spare a few moments to remember the fallen, who applaud the dwindling number of veterans who march past - they would do well to recall the words of Winston Churchill (1933):
"The worst difficulties from which we suffer do not come from without, they come from within. They come from a peculiar type in our country who if they add something to its culture, take much from its strength. Our difficulties come from the mood of unwarrantable self-abasement into which we have been cast by a powerful section of our own intellectuals. They come from the acceptance of defeatist doctrines by a large proportion of our politicians. But what have they to offer but a vague internationalism, a squalid materialism and the promise of impossible Utopias."


IanPJ said...

Have borrowed that quote.

Witterings From Witney said...

As always, be my guest.

Thanks for inclusion in your post.