Today is a poignant day it is the 11th day of the 11th month of the 11th year. And it is almost 100 years since the start of the First World War. So who will you be remembering today?
I will be remembering my Papa. He was born in 1913 just before the start of the First World War. He fought in the Second World War and missed the birth of my mother as a result. He was an ordinary person fighting for his country not remarkable there were many men like him.
But that is what remembrance is about. Ordinary people doing in some cases extraordinary things. I studied both the First World War and the Second and many other wars at school and at Edinburgh University. I could never get over the senselessness of war especially for me the First World War when man after man was used for cannon fodder and the world went mad. For a long time I found it difficult to attend remembrance services as it just made me so angry at the waste of life. I still don’t fully agree or understand but I realise that men and women like my Papa are not the people who start the wars. They are the people who fight for their country and risk their life as a result. My Papa like so may others was just an ordinary man.
But for me he was my Papa and I loved him. My Papa gave me belief in myself. Didn’t matter what I was struggling with he believed in me and that belief gave a shy girl lots of confidence. My Papa gave me a real life insight into the past he had lived it. I spent lots of time with him when I was young as he spent a lot of time living with us. He had his faults and there are things he taught me not to do as well as to do. But whose perfect? And his good things live on in his two daughters and grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
My Papa died in November 1986. A long time ago but not forgotten and today at 11am I will be remembering him and all the other ordinary people. Who will you be remembering?