There has been so much overshadowing kerfuffle about the Cenotaph observations this year. I used to work about 100 yards from the Cenotaph and have generally posted something here about Remembrance Day, but this year even showing a picture of the Cenotaph might contravene my draconian non-partisan employment clause!
On the way from my new building to my old building, I pass this: the monument to the Bali bombings.
There are 202 doves; people of 21 nationalities were killed; and it stands as a powerful memorial.
Very obviously, we need to remember people who voluntarily, or under duress in time of war, put themselves in harm's way to serve their country. We should remember their bravery, and terror, and the sacrifice they made willingly or unwillingly. And we should also remember the "collateral damage"; most obviously military families and the civilians who can't get out of the way.
I remember realising, with a shock, that three guys having a kickabout on my village green a couple of years ago were each playing with one prosthetic leg. I remember a friend visiting the village at about the same time having a similar experience in the queue in the shop one evening when she bent down to pick up her bag and realised half the legs under the shorts of the fit young men in front of her were made of high-tech metal.
There are also the MSF medical staff killed while volunteering their services to save lives in appalling circumstances; and the people drinking in Birmingham pubs or dancing in the nightclubs of Bali, totally unaware they were part of someone else's war.
There are no more World War I veterans, and the number of living World War II veterans is dwindling rapidly; but we need a space to acknowledge the chaos wars continue to wreak in so many lives.