14 November 2010
This being the nearest Sunday to Armistice Day it is the time chosen to hold services throughout the country in remembrance of all those who have lost their lives in defence of this country since the First World War. The first such service was held in 1920.
Last night there was a moving Festival of Remembrance, sponsored by the British Legion and Help the Heroes. This did not follow what we have come to understood as a Â Remembrance Service — I think that pageant is probably the best description. It was held at the Albert Hall in front of the Queen, the Prime Minister and many other dignitaries. I say pageant because it was not the normal solemn memorial service. It was a mixture of incredibly schooled military bands; precision marching columns; solemn music and light sentimental songs. Also individuals were featured who had either served in the second Great Wall or were victims of more recent wars such as Afghanistan. So it was a strange mixture but in its way , perhaps, apposite for the 21st century. There is obviously a strong following in this country for this sort of event, remembering those who have given their lives for their Motherland. This is evidenced by the 46 million poppies sold by the British Legion, bearing in mind that the total population of the country, I believe, is not much more than 60 million.
Today two dear friends, Jill and Tony Griggs, came to lunch but with a difference, they bought the food with them. Insisting that it was their time to entertain us and recognising the arduous process of conveying me to their house and perhaps having to negotiate steps etc instead of us going to them they brought the lunch to us â€“ what aÂ lovely idea and how thoughtful of them. I selfishly hope this starts a trend as it is much more difficult now than it was in the past for us to accept lunch or dinner invitations.
After lunch we decided to listen to the program in Philadelphia in which IÂ participating Â on 11 October, Voices in the Family on WHYY radio Philadelphia. In fact it was the first time that I’ve actually heard it myself. If you want it to hear it too then click on Voices in the Family and perhaps referring to 11 October entry.