Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Remembrance Day Parade

This was the first glimpse I had as the parade came around the corner,
it was a long way down the road and the rain was tipping down.

Sunday dawned much chillier than forecast and the 40% chance of rain seemed very optimistic, judging by the sky and the feel of the air.

Max was marching to represent the Royal Marines
so we had to set off early.
Even so, 
by the time we reached the parade grounds
the place was bustling
with scouts, guides, beavers, cubs,
air cadets, sea cadets, army cadets,
firemen, policemen
the Mayor
soldiers, sailors, airmen

It was busy.

This very elderly and frail old soldier found another use for his poppy wreath.
I could only admire his inventiveness, it was very cold and the rain was beating down.

Normally I find a place to stand which is about as close to 
the war memorial 
as it is possible to get,
 without upsetting the photographer from the local newspaper.   
(it was the place favoured by Trent's* wife, Margo, 
when she used to attend).

This year, to my shame,  I found that I found myself wondering whether that was wise
given the number of idiots which seem to have infiltrated
every corner of the world, trying to cause chaos
and mayhem.

My dilemma was resolved

once I found that my young grandchildren would not be attending.

I stood in my normal place, right near the action

at the memorial.

I will not be cowed and have fear dictate to me...

and yet, having said that, 
I know that I wouldn't have stood there with my little grandchildren.

Like it or not, these evil people do tinker with our minds.

Here is Max just walking up to present the wreath on behalf of the Royal Marines.

I have been attending these acts of remembrance for quite a number of years,
the number of old soldiers diminishes every year,
so it was so good to see just how many parents and children 
had turned out,
despite the weather.

This is how wet it was - and don't forget to factor in the bitter cold.
I love the grit and determination on their faces.

After all the formal presentations have been made 
there is always a very poignant point 
when the Parade Master calls
for anyone who wishes to present a wreath for any individual.

This year there were several, 
the sadness and raw grief on some faces told their own story.
I was glad of the rain.

This service is about real people
who had lives and loves of their own.

We will remember.

*  The photographs in this post are for our friend,
He normally participates in the act of Remembrance,
serious illness has got in the way of that this year.

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