Who do we remember?

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  • Who do we remember?
  • On a day which stirs up some strong emotions, i’d like to ask a question. It might not be an easy question to answer, and for this I’ve honoured the wishes of the other thread and started a new one, but if this day has achieved anything it’s made me think about this.Do we truly remember all war dead on a day such as today, or is it a moment for Britons the world over to reflect on their own personal grief? Can we unite together in a common remembrance when one person is mourning the waste of all human life whereas the person next to them may be remembering a loved one who was, as one chap put it* ‘shot down over Dresden whilst getting the bastids’? Would you have a problem honouring a suicide bomber from a far off land if he died believing in his cause even if you didn’t?

    I’m trying to form an opinion on this and would be interested to hear what folk think. Yes, i’m trying to incite a response, and I’m sure some strong words will be coming this way, but it is a genuine question and not intended to belittle anyone or their beliefs. Insult away if you feel the need, just be aware that no offence is intended.

    * The example I chose is in no way intended to belittle or question the reasons of said poster, or the bravery of the airman in question. It’s just one of many posts, along with the FIFA/political symbol issue, that got me thinking.

    cupra
    Member

    Personally, a mix of this

    Do we truly remember all war dead on a day such as today, or is it a moment for Britons the world over to reflect on their own personal grief?

    i.e. both parts of that.

    druidh
    Member

    Soldiers the world over are mainly young men sent to die on behalf of their ruling classes/politicians. They all deserve our remembrance.

    Personally, I spend a moment of silence for ALL those who lost lives in the horror of conflict.

    Premier Icon ton
    Subscriber

    we remember because they were ours, fighting for our country.
    just as the german people will probably remember their war dead, and the americans, and the japanese………respect more than anything is my reason.

    Soldiers the world over

    I do. For several years I have had an active interest in the two World Wars in particular, reading many *true life* accounts by serving soldiers (Allied Forces and also the enemy’s perspective as well as some by death camp prisoners too) and I feel touched at the sheer scale of loss that went on during those wars.

    I know Remembrance Day remembers ALL those who have lost their lives in conflict, not just the two World Wars, but it is those that have the greatest poignancy for me.

    wombat
    Member

    Personally, I spend a moment of silence for ALL those who lost lives in the horror of conflict.

    This +1

    TooTall
    Member

    Why don’t you have an opinion?

    Why do the opinions of a load of randoms on a cycling website count in forming yours?

    Why can it not be many things to many people?

    wrecker
    Member

    ALL nations should remember their fallen. Their method and times of doing so are their choices. We choose the poppy and 11/11/11.
    I’d have no problem with the Germans etc wearing a similar symbol of rememberance.
    Terrorism is a bit different IMO.

    bagpuss72
    Member

    My friend works for ‘Save the Children’ and I’ve heard stories about 8 year old lads in some African states getting dragged out of their huts and having a gun shoved in their hands. There are sides to wars that are not noble and the people involved there aren’t their through choice or fighting for what they believe in.

    I just hate wars full stop, any of them, I’m no expert (cue the abuse) but they all seem fuelled by greed for oil, money or power for a minority and its all just wrong 🙁

    joolsburger
    Member

    I remember pretty much everyone that has died in conflict.
    I hope that the purpose of rememberance is not only to show respect for those that have died but to remember the stupidity and horror of war. It seems that despite the lessons history teaches we simply never learn.

    I hope that the purpose of rememberance is not only to show respect for those that have died but to remember the stupidity and horror of war.

    I, for one, don’t think that Remembrance Day has (or at least should have) any underlying political motive or moral viewpoint. It should be used simply and solely to remember those who have died in conflict.

    B.A.Nana
    Member

    * The example I chose is in no way intended to belittle or question the reasons of said poster, or the bravery of the airman in question.

    So, why did you edit my post? from ‘shot down and killed over Dresden’, to just ‘shot down over Dresden’, did it suit you better?

    Get your hobnobs out everybody

    Premier Icon Lifer
    Subscriber

    Just out of interest which ‘bastids’ got got?

    jonba
    Member

    captaincarbon – Member
    Personally, I spend a moment of silence for ALL those who lost lives in the horror of conflict.

    + another

    oneoneoneone
    Member

    i remember my mates who lost there lives in Afghanistan and iraq.

    i know (as good mates) 7 lads who lost there lives. i was very lucky that i was never sent anywhere dangerous.

    i will never forget them and i think about them quite a lot.

    hilldodger
    Member

    To remember those who have fallen and to comfort those they left behind……..

    Mr Woppit
    Member

    [video]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eeWXoYHgmTU[/video]

    mikey3
    Member

    I tend to think of the old World War one footage of all the men sent out of the trenches to run at machine guns and probably certain death.And even tho it was so long ago it makes me sad at the waste of all those lives and try to put myself in their place and how scared they must have been.And even though i dont really agree with the wars the U.K. are involved in today i still have respect for the soldiers out there because i know i would,nt have the guts to go there.

    iDave
    Member

    I spend a short time considering how vile people can be to other people, often involving sending young people to kill strangers the world over. I can’t really differentiate between the grief of a soldiers family here and the grief of an Afghan kids family who happened to be at a wedding that was droned. All pain, all heartbreaking, none of it done for my benefit.

    Very moved by veterans accounts of the horror of war, tempered with the fact that they were ordered to inflict the same on the other side.

    Terrorism is a bit different IMO.

    What about freedom fighters?

    Premier Icon Lifer
    Subscriber

    Now it’s biscuit time!

    wrecker
    Member

    I shall make my own mind up on who I consider terrorists/freedom fighters and accept that others views will differ to mine.

    …and respect their right to remember them in any way they see fit?

    wrecker
    Member

    As long as it’s peaceful and respectful to others.

    uplink
    Member

    I remember just how lucky I am to be here and say a silent thanks to the many thousands that that gave everything and didn’t manage to survive.

    My paternal grandfather volunteered [like most] during WW1 and fought in the trenches
    My dad was a radio operator in a Wellington bomber during WW2

    They both came home to their loved ones to raises their families in a free country so I consider myself particularly lucky to beat the odds and actually live in this great country.

    Premier Icon epicyclo
    Subscriber

    Consider this as one example:

    Battle of Loos September 1915.

    British generals decide to use gas against the Germans.
    Therefore no previous artillery ‘softening up’.
    The wind is blowing the wrong way, so the gas will blow back on the British lines.
    The soldiers operating the gas refuse several times to release it.
    They are then given the choice, release it or be shot.
    The gas is released and blows back on to the forward trenches where it incapacitates many soldiers.

    Some soldiers, climb out of the trenches to move back to the second line to escape the gas.
    But they can’t because there has been barbed wire erected to prevent a retreat.
    Meanwhile the Germans have some good targets…

    Eventually the order is given to advance and the troops move forward, only to find that the ground they are expected to advance over is so pockmarked with deep holes that they have to proceed in file.
    All this in plain sight and range of the German machine guns and artillery.
    But still they went forward.

    It cost us 20,000 men for a mornings work.

    Amazingly the survivors took the objectives, but there were so few of them left alive that they could not hold it.

    Lest we forget.

    wrecker
    Member

    I remember seeing an interview with one of the men portrayed in band of brothers. He said something to the effect of “as the the German soldiers personally I have no problems with them. They were doing what they were supposed to do and so was I. They might have liked to fish”
    If someone who’s been through what he has can have that attitude then it’s not a big ask for us to. The christmas truce reflects the whole sadness of it quite well.

    Premier Icon Lifer
    Subscriber

    That sentiment is spot on wrecker, which is why I personally found B.A.Nana’s ‘got the bastids’ to be distasteful.

    I’ve been trying to find an interview I read a while ago where a veteran of the Somme talks about why he never wore a poppy, laid a wreath or contributed to the British Legion. I will continue looking because I don’t want to paraphrase him but it’s pretty much to do with the situations that caused the gas story above.

    aka_Gilo
    Member

    It cost us 20,000 men for a mornings work

    I really struggle to comprehend the insanity of that, or many other similar examples from (in particular) WW1.

    I tend to think of WW1 and the horror of the trenches on Armistice Day, as when I was a kid those were predominantly the images that were shown. But I think of everyone of all nationalities who has lost their life in conflict, and those they left behind.

    Premier Icon epicyclo
    Subscriber

    aka_Gilo – Member
    ‘It cost us 20,000 men for a mornings work’
    I really struggle to comprehend the insanity of that,…

    It speaks volumes for the dangers of having a political system where the leaders feel so superior to the men, that it is a matter of little consequence to feed them into machine guns.

    It speaks volumes for the dangers of having a political system where the leaders feel so superior to the men, that it is a matter of little consequence to feed them into machine guns.

    This^

    Today is a day to be thankful too, that those days are behind us.

    nomakoman
    Member

    My great grandfather……fought in the great war and was injured 3 times, once being the only survivor of a patrol that got hit by a shell. A true hero

    Also my great uncle who was a rear gunner in a lancaster, saw many of his close friends meet their demise

    Both have sadly now passed on but ill never forget them or be humbled by what they did

    Premier Icon Lifer
    Subscriber

    I’ve been trying to find an interview I read a while ago where a veteran of the Somme talks about why he never wore a poppy, laid a wreath or contributed to the British Legion. I will continue looking because I don’t want to paraphrase him but it’s pretty much to do with the situations that caused the gas story above.

    Still no joy but the sentiments expressed in this column are very similar:

    We’re not worthy

    Thanks for the replies everyone. Just like to clear a couple of things up:

    B.A.Nana

    So, why did you edit my post? from ‘shot down and killed over Dresden’, to just ‘shot down over Dresden’, did it suit you better?

    I though that the context of the original post, a family remembering someone who was shot down implied that they had been killed, but it looks like I was wrong. For that I apologise and if I could go back and edit my post I would. My point, which stays the same with or without the word killed, was to contrast two points of view, one who mourned all dead and one who thought little of the opposition. If your post was meant tongue in cheek and you don’t think all 25,000 people who died in one raid on Dresden were ‘bastids’ then I missed that implication and again I apologise. Again, if the raid you mention was solely on military targets, I apologise. I just think the word ‘soldiers’ would have sounded better.

    Too Tall

    Why do the opinions of a load of randoms on a cycling website count in forming yours?

    I find it hard to form an opinion all by myself and find the opinion of others helps me to come to a more balanced, informed conclusion. You see a forum full of randoms, I see a collection of varied opinions from a wider range of people than I would be able to talk to, for example, in the pub
    Further, I do have an opinion, I’d just like to see if anything said here helps me develop it. I think all dead should be remembered as a sad waste of life. I find the honouring part difficult. Killing is killing. We honour people because their ideal or beliefs coincide with ours. The Holocaust makes finding homour in the second world war easier (and with good reason), other conflicts, at least for me, are less clear cut. This has more to do with our leaders than the front-liners.

    I know, I know, I struggle with long sentences.

    RichPenny
    Member

    I try and remember all combatants really, but focus on the people closest to me and they’re mostly English. I do have some German relatives as well so it would be nonsensical to forget their suffering. Reading things like All Quiet on the Western Front and Slaughterhouse 5 has influenced that opinion.

    My great grandfather……fought in the great war and was injured 3 times, once being the only survivor of a patrol that got hit by a shell. A true hero

    I don’t wish to undermine the actions of your great grandfather, but I can’t see how this made him a true hero.

    mrlebowski
    Member

    My Grandfather who I never knew. He was killed at Arnhem. A few years ago I went there with my Father, his Son, on the 65th Celebration of Dutch Liberation. There was only one Veteran left from my Grandfathers unit & I was privileged to meet him. Even more so when I was presented with a wreath of Red Poppies to lay..Biggest lump in my throat ever when I saluted that Memorial alone with several thousand Dutch watching..I did my best to make the salute a good one..not just for my Grandfather but also for his comrades who didn’t make it & the ones I didn’t know, the ones I’ll never know & for those yet to die..

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