Monday 6 July 2009

A Tribute to Heroes

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

We will remember them

(Laurence Binyon 1869-1943)

It was moving today to see the people of Wootton Bassett lining the streets in homage to two of the recent fatalities of the war in Afghanistan as the cortege passed. The ceremony was simple and beautifully executed as only the British know how. The funeral director walked in front of the hearses at a measured pace, the soldiers came to the salute as the first coffin passed and as the church bell tolled the procession was brought to a halt for a minute's silence. Backs straightened, salutes were held perfectly and the people wept. During that silence not a sound could be heard other than the tolling of the bell.

The soldiers thus honoured in this small Wiltshire market town were a commanding officer aged 39 and an 18-year-old trooper of the Welsh Guards but no insignia identified them – they were equal in death as we all shall be.

Their lives, their hopes and ambitions, are over. The Lieutenant-Colonel's widow will bring up their two small daughters on her own. The Trooper's fiancée can only wonder what marriage would have brought.

However the casualties do not receive the same media reportage. The lives that are blighted are supported by charities like Help for Heroes.


  1. I fell sorry for all that have to bee in a war. Why can all people do not stoop fighting and have no war?

  2. Quite so Maria, particularly when treaties are signed at the end of war. Why can't the aggrieved parties 'get round the table' before so many are killed and maimed?

  3. so true how the media doesn't cover the deaths of these soldiers. you wrote about it beautifully.


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