Monday, 15 November 2010

Remembrance Sunday

The village green fills with people.  It’s raining and the saturated grass has turned to mud.  But we all stand out in it.  The Warlingham flute band leads the parade, followed by students from the boy’s local village school, a few men in uniform including our friend Mark, and the Cub Scout color guard.  The Vicar leads us all in a hymn.  The poppy wreaths are placed on the memorial in the center of the green.  There is a moment of silence.  We listen as the names of each young man from this village who died in the Great War and in World War II are read.  I cry and hug my boys tight to me—especially when 2 and sometimes 3 boys with the same surname are read aloud.  Brothers in arms, now gone.  Then there are prayers for peace.  For unity.  For those who fight.  For their families left behind. For the innocent victims of war.  For the leaders who make the decisions to send or not send us into war.  Each of us breathes an 'amen' at the end of each new prayer.  We recite the Lord’s Prayer.  We stand in the rain and sing another hymn.  Then ‘God Save the Queen.’  I don’t know the words so I cheat and sing ‘My Country ‘tis of Thee.’  It’s another Remembrance Sunday.  I am again in awe of this experience as an expat in this tiny English village.  

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