Sunday, 11 November 2007


It was just a coincidence that in Travels with Lucy my last post, written in November, was called ‘Tom is such a hero’. I think. I often refer to Tom as “My hero!” and often he is.

But, then again, it IS November and the whole of the month is dedicated to prayer for the dead in the Roman Catholic Church: All Saints’ Day (Nov.1) for those who with ‘heroic virtue’ have gone straight to Heaven, and All Souls’ Day (Nov.2) for those who, on their way to Heaven, must first be perfected in Purgatory.

I am, of course well aware of this.

Also, that today is Remembrance Sunday in the UK when we remember all those who were/are caught up in wars and, in particular, those ‘heroes’ who gave their lives in both World Wars (l&ll).

I have to admt that as an ardent pacifist, I haven’t always respected this occasion as much as I probably should have done. But I have always known, and related to Tom as he was growing up, stories of individuals in wartime that have touched me. We may not have always marked the two minute silence at 11am but we have, of course, always shown respect. We are grateful for our “freedom”.

I think a lot depends on family (as with everything!) and how close you are to all members, especially of the older generations. Well, there you have it. We, of course, weren’t – for various reasons. It is only as adults in our own lives that we discover the pains of other people’s existence. Become conscious of the society as a whole. And learn to pray.

“Thou shalt not kill.” (Deuteronomy 5:17) And I will obey. It is beyond me that others, calling themselves Christians (so many of the Remembrance Day services will purport to be), do still – even apart from “wars” they “manufacture” – kill. The unborn, the elderly and the infirm.

I know that we must protect ourselves, and others and so I do understand “self-defence”. But for the rest, oh it is hard.

I remember especially all those young men in World War l who, with no choice as to whether they fought or not, had their lives taken from them. I am grateful to the War Poets* for bringing that home to me (as it were). And I pray for them all. It breaks my heart.

And so I remember.

And I imagine my sub-conscious did before the rest of my MS (multiple sclerosis) brain when I wrote that last Travels post. November is the month to remember heroes – all of them.

And may those gone before us,



*Poetry of the First Worl War Published by The Macmillan Press Ltd. ISBN:0-333-26121-6

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