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Started by routemaster at 11,Nov,18 03:42  other posts of routemaster
Today, 11th November 2018, is the 100th Anniversary of the end of the First World War. Please take a couple of minutes wherever you are to remember the fallen in that terrible conflict and all senseless wars since. Thank you.

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By bella! at 11,Nov,18 10:43 other posts of bella! 
At the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month, an Armistice was signed by Germany and Allies ending World War I in 1918.

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By Whoknows at 11,Nov,18 21:14 other posts of Whoknows 
Oh wow, that just had me crying all over again. I've been like this all day on and off.
I have the sweetest old couple living next door to me, both now 80 years old. Since I was very ill a few years ago, they've brought me a roast dinner every Sunday, always looked out for me and they're lovely people to spend time with for occasional chats about their grandk1ds etc. Oddly enough, they're called Jack and Jean, which are also my parents' names too.
When Jean called with my dinner today, she could see I'd been crying and asked what was wrong. I began explaining about reading the soldier's letter and I began choking back tears again. She started nodding her head to show her understanding of how I felt and I saw tears welling up in her eyes. In a voice cracking on the verge of crying, she told me that Jack had barely spoken a word all day. When he did speak, his voice was quiet and she knew his thoughts weren't focused on the conversation. She told me he lost his grandfather and two uncles in that war. I had no idea of that and it gutted me. We had to hug for a few moments before she left because she didn't want Jack to see she'd been crying. I think that's a very British older generations thing; "A stiff upper lip".
They're of a generation, who aren't too savvy with the internet. They know how to browse and do basic things with it, but earlier this year, Jean had found an organisation, who were producing some glass figurines of a WW1 Tommy for sale in aid of charity and to commemorate the centenary. She wanted one to give Jack for his birthday this year and asked if I could order one for her. I've had a few conversations with Jack about the time he served in the Royal Navy and his interest in old stories and photographs from those days and as well as WW1, but he'd never mentioned anything about losing his loved ones. Because I knew about his interests, I could see why Jean thought the figurine was an ideal birthday present for him, but now I understand it's significance and not just a "nice" gift.

I've been misunderstood by a few people a few times in past forum threads about my views on conflict and terr0rism etc. They somehow felt I was disrespectful or didn't care about the people in armed forces, but they couldn't be more wrong. People join our armed forces for their own reasons and I honour them for their duty regardless. What I have a problem with is how soldiers have to put their lives on the line or take the lives of others they wouldn't have any personal quarrel with outside the circumstances of war, especially if it's a conflict where their personal humanitarian views or politics are opposed to it.
Even if I was a bold enough person to be a soldier, I'd be a broken man for the rest of my life if I had to k1ll just one person knowing there was always that possibility they could just as easily have been someone I'd meet one day and become friends with. I'd be haunted by all the sadness and pain I knew I'd brought to a family I didn't even know and who would never forgive me.
Having people wanting to shake my hand, thank me and maybe even call me a hero for doing that would k1ll me.
I respect soldiers. It's the politics of war I don't.

I've always marked the minute of silence and followed the rememberance on TV if possible, but today I couldn't bring myself to watch because I was already too sad after reading Private Ford's letter. I feel bad about it too.
I've heard bits of conversation around me leading up to today where people were saying things about not wanting to watch the rememberance ceremony just because Angela Merkel will be there. I think that's exactly the opposite attiude we should have and there's no real intelligent thought behind that reasoning either. I actually find it quite embarrassing to hear people say ssomething so stupid.
"She shouldn't be there because she's one of the Germans who..."
Seriously? They'll blurt out that ridiculous defiance of a nation, yet happily buy the cars, food, alcohol and God knows how many other products that nation produces without that bigoted bullshit in mind, won't they! Even the huge deal they'll make every Christmas with decorations and their Christmas trees in particular originated in that nation. Some of the greatest minds, who brought the world knowledge and solutions to medicine, science and general progress that benefit our lives were of that nation too, but conveniently, none of that's ever considered when they make their stupid remarks about Merkel being present today.
So, I apologise to anyone who might be offended by my opinion on this, but I'm glad Angela Merkel was there today, and I think those who disagree should think again about that. Grief, sorrow, loss, pain and heartbreak are all felt universally the same no matter where we're from, so an empathy for each other's pain being shared by EVERY nation involved was the ONLY good outcome from that damned war... lest we forget.

By t-rex at 11,Nov,18 18:04 other posts of t-rex 
God Bless them all

By #541363 at 11,Nov,18 15:33
Not doing that much in the Netherlands. We were neutral.

By #571467 at 11,Nov,18 14:17
lest we forget

By Whoknows at 11,Nov,18 06:34 other posts of Whoknows 
I've just been in tears reading this. It's the last letter from a soldier to his wife, written on a scrap of paper he found in the dugout.

My dearest Edith,
My darling, if this should ever reach you it will be a sure sign that I am gone under and what will become of you and the chicks I do not know, but there is one above that will see to you and not let you starve.
You have been the best of wives and I loved you deeply, how much you will never know.
Dear heart, do think sometimes of me in the future when your grief has worn a bit, and the older ch1ldren, I know won't forget me, and speak sometimes of me to the younger ones.
Dearest, if the chance should come your way, for you are young and good looking and should a good man give you an offer, it would please me to think you would take it, not to grieve too much for me.
I should not have left you thus bringing suffering and poverty on a loving wife and ch1ldren for which in time I hope you will forgive me.
So dear heart, I will bid you all farewell hoping to meet you in the time to come if there is a hereafter. Know that my last thoughts were of you in the dugout or on the fire step my thoughts went out to you, the only one I ever loved, the one that made a man of me.

He was Private Albert Ford. The letter was written on October 21st 1917. He was killed in action 6 days later.

This single letter home is heartbreaking enough, but knowing there will have been thousands more like it written to loved ones with all that sorrow and grief in them combined just kills me.
Private Ford's wife, Edith, was lucky enough to receive his letter to her, and she treasured it until she died in the 1950s.
Many of the soldiers' letters didn't get home to their loved ones because of the chaos of the war. I don't know which is less heavy on the heart; receiving a last letter from a son, husband, father or br0ther and discovering the heartache and sadness that filled them and knowing you can't give them your love when they need it more than ever. Or the mothers, wives, daughters and sisters not receiving those lost letters, leaving them to grieve with no final words of love to keep in their hearts. Never saying goodbye.

You're absolutely right in how you put it, Routemaster. A senseless war.
Today is a day of rememberance, gratitude and sadness.
By stickyknickers at 11,Nov,18 10:27 other posts of stickyknickers 
This morning at 11am I stood in a British cemetery in France. Just me and a few others. So moving, as was your post

By bella! at 11,Nov,18 10:44 other posts of bella! 
That's really a heart touching letter.
By tb1 at 11,Nov,18 13:38 other posts of tb1 
It sure is, let us never forget and treasure our soldiers memories always

By licksipsuckit at 11,Nov,18 04:04 other posts of licksipsuckit 
yes we attended the service this morning, our cenatath had a new plaque made, and there was a small but patriotic few that came out and bowed their heads, giving thanks to the fallen diggers for their bravery and courage. some many fallen, so many lives lost, freedom has a high price and we all take that small moment in time to honour those who gave the ultimate sacrifice.
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By stickyknickers at 11,Nov,18 10:28 other posts of stickyknickers 
Thank you for saying that xx

By Leilani at 11,Nov,18 10:18 other posts of Leilani 

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