11 November 2011

Lest We Forget - 11 November 2011

I'm always fascinated by palindromic dates and today we have an extra special one - Remembrance Day observations at 11 am on the 11th day of the 11th month of 2011, 93 years on from the original declaration of the Armistice that signalled the end of World War One. After over four years of war, what a huge relief that must have been.

Yesterday I noticed in the shopping centre the RSL were selling little red poppies, and they will be used world wide in specially created "gardens", on war memorials, and on wreaths, today to signify that we haven't forgotten.

And at 11 am in schools, at war memorials, and various public places, the bugles will blow and we will have a minute's silence for the fallen.

Those of us who weren't there really can't know what it was like but even in the crime fiction world there are books that can contribute to our understanding. Just last week I reviewed A LONELY DEATH by Charles Todd. There are some terrific passages in there that describe what it was like on the Front.

While World War One wasn't, as was hoped, "the war to end all wars", it had such a cataclysmic effect on the world that we inherited, that it is really important that we and our families don't forget, whichever "side" our ancestors were on.

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.

The Ode comes from For the Fallen, a poem by the English poet and writer Laurence Binyon and was published in London in The Winnowing Fan: Poems of the Great War in 1914. This verse, which became the Ode for the Returned and Services League, has been used in association with commemoration services in Australia since 1921.

Download/Play Bugle Calls from Anzacday.org
The following downloads are in .wav format and may not be usable on all systems. Please note that, depending on the speed of your connection, files may require several minutes to download.
[Last Post - 214kb] [Reveille - 181kb] [Rouse - 72kb]
Acknowledgement: Sound files courtesy of the Australian Army Band, Brisbane.


Margot Kinberg said...

Kerrie - A lovely tribute! Thank you for this.

Bill Selnes said...

Kerrie: Thanks for a fine post. In Saskatchewan we still have a holiday for Nov. 11. It is called Remembrance Day. In much of Canada it is no longer a holiday. I hope we will continue making Remembrance Day a holiday.

Dorte H said...

What a good idea to use a crime story about Remembrance Day (which we don´t have in Denmark, by the way).

Other crime novels about this day: Andrew Taylor, An Air that Kills
Dorothy L. Sayers, The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club.


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