OT Rememberence day story

At the elevent hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month we remember the brave and the fallen.
What does it mean to be brave?
My Grandmother was a midwife in England during the blitz and she is renowned throughout her small town for dilivering babies whith bombs falling around her. She was honoured after the war for her work, by naming a street after her. Co-incidentally I was born in that street.
But there were no honours or medals for my Grandfather. This man was a coal miner. Today mining is a dangerous business but when he was going down the pit it was much more so. But every day he did it, it was his job. A reserved occupation, miners could not be called up or even volunteer - they were needed where they were.
Twice he came up to find his house destroyed by German bombs. The last time Grandma was still in the wrecked house, buried alive. He found my mother frantically digging at the rubble with her bare hands trying to rescue her.
Still he kept going down, not knowing whether he would be eating dinner with his family that night or burying them. Or even if he would have a bed to sleep in that night.
That to me is bravery.
Grandma was brave as well. One day a German bomber was in dire trouble. It was burning and rapidly losing height. The crew didn't want to crash with a full load of bombs aboard so they released them. As the plane descended it was flying parallel to their street. And each of the bombs struck a house. The aircraft crashed at the end of the street and all of the locals rushed to the wreck. Many houses were destroyed and some villagers were injured. Grandma ran to the wreck where the villagers had dragged out the dazed and injured crew. They were going to lynch them. And who could blame them?
Grandma all five foot nothing of her, forced her way to the front of the angry mob and turned to face them. "Leave them alone!" she shouted. "I need some room to treat their wounds." "But nurse!" One said "Look what they've done to your house" pointing at a mess of broken walls and roof tiles. "I'ts no worse than what my boys are doing over there!" And with that the crowd left her to her work and the police came to take the crew away.
I often wonder if the crew knew she saved their lives that day.
Lest we forget.
Mekon
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Mekon wrote:


You might want to re-phrase that. Either that, or it must have been quite a spectacle.

... snip

Most assuredly. The folks from that day were made of stern stuff. Let's not forget that as that generation fades into history.
Let us also not forget those serving now; they are fighting a war that many don't understand and that will be a long time in winning -- but they are fighting for a free un-dhimmified future for us all. A salute to those from your part of the world: <http://www.blackfive.net/main/2006/10/beccy_cole_post.html
--
If you're going to be dumb, you better be tough

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Can anyone "understand a war". The closer you get to it...the more senless it becomes. Its only by standing far away, either by time or distance, does it become apparently comprehensible.
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Thank you for sharing Mekon.
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"Mekon", thank you for sharing your family history.
As someone once said, if we don't learn from our mistakes, we are doomed to repeat them.
Lew
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Mekon wrote:

I was down to the Cenotaph on Sunday. This is the main war memorial in London, in Whitehall, near the end of Downing Street. It was built after WWI and is the place where on the Sunday nearest Armistice Day (Veterans Day) there is a service of remembrance. It starts with a two minutes silence starting as Big Ben strikes 11:00, the time the armistice was signed. After the short service poppy wreaths are laid by the Queen and representatives of the armed services (including Prince Phillip, Prince Charles, Prince William and Princess Anne), by the Prime Minister and representatives of other political parties, by representatives of all religious groups and by representatives (Ambassador or High Commissioner) of all the Commonwealth countries that fought alongside us in both World Wars. They all come to pay their respects. This year, appropriately it fell on the 11th.
After this ceremony there is a march past of veterans representing the various associations, not just the armed forces but a lot of volunteers as well including the fire brigade and others who stayed at home for the war effort. Amongst them the ‘Bevin Boys’, the miners who kept the country going. That march past takes over an hour and each group lays their own wreath. So your grandfather may not have been recognised at the time but he certainly is now.
But for me the most moving part this year was the wheelchair bound veteran who took part in the march past but who lifted himself out to walk past the Cenotaph to salute his those who didn’t return.
Andrew
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Thanks Andrew. :) Mekon
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