Sunday, November 11, 2018
Remembrance Day 2018
It's Remembrance Day 2018, and a time to remember all those who fought and died for our country.
A time to remember and celebrate my fighting grandfathers.
Who survived the horror of war, but like so many others were marked by it forever.
Like this young Canadian soldier, 22-year-old Pte. Thomas Welch, who survived a tour in Afghanistan.
Only to kill himself three months after returning to Canada in May 2004.
And for the next thirteen years, although he had been a good and brave soldier, was officially forgotten by the Canadian military, who refused to accept that his death had anything to do with his service in Afghanistan.
Fortunately that injustice was finally corrected in June 2017. His mother, Anita Cenerini who fought so hard to right that wrong, will be this year's Silver Cross Mother.
And will represent ALL the mothers who lost a child to military service, and those soldiers who are still living and suffering with the horror of PTSD.
As well as all those who died not in battle, but still serving their country.
Like many of the Canadian flyers buried in this, and other small cemeteries in the north of Scotland.
Who were learning to fly bombers at a big RAF base near my family home, only to have their planes go down in the North Sea or the misty highlands...
Every year, I spend a day tending to their graves, so that they should know that although they don't receive many visitors, we will never forget them.
And that I will always thank them for sacrificing their young lives so that we could live in freedom.
And every year, I also vow to fight to the death if necessary, to prevent the fascists in this country from threatening that freedom, that was bought with the blood of so many Canadians.
Remember our heroes, and those who loved them, still do, and are still suffering with them today.
And since this year is the 100th anniversary of the First World War, and Scotland marked that anniversary by turning buildings like Edinburgh Castle poppy red.
Let the words of the Canadian doctor Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae, written in poppies, pay tribute to them all...