In Memory of those who gave their lives

This is one of those rare events, a bank holiday weekend, both sides of the pond. Over here, in the UK, its simply called the Whitsun Bank Holiday, but in the US, its something considered far more important, that being Memorial weekend. And yes, today is actually Memorial Day.

Its fair to say, I think, that over here, beyond 2 days in November, remembrance of those who died in the various wars, arent a general thing. In the US, its a whole different thing. Without wishing to get political, the forces in the US are more respected, and have a better reputation than over here. I must admit, the amount of times I’ve come across forces, from either country are limited, but yes, I’ve never seen US force people behaving badly, and I only wish I could say the same for ours. I know, I’m an Ameriphile, so may be biased, but I dont think so.

Of course, there is the thing that the American’s have been in a few more wars over the years, both recent, and in the past, so maybe thats why they need to be remembered more? But in truth, in my opinion, all those people gave their lives, so we could be here today, in relative safety, so they should all be remembered.

Of course, the saddest ones are where families, for whatever reason, have no one to bury. Indeed in some cases, we dont even know how, or where they died, they just disappear, and we assume in time, that they died, somewhere, fighting for us.

Lets all pay our due respects. Yes, there were a number of movie stars who died, either in the actual war, or serving their country in other ways, lest it be forgotten.

OK, the video. This is one of those gentlemen who disappeared during the war, assumed dead, when he never arrived in France. We can only assume his plane crashed, or was attacked over the English Channel, in December 1944, we will never know the full story now, I’m sure.

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A day of remembrance, a day of celebration too

Well, seriously, given the date and everything, what else were you expecting tonight?

Strictly, the centenary of the significance of the 11th November is still 4 years away, but given this is the centenary of the start of World War 1, its a major landmark anyway. And at the 11th hour today, we have, or will (depending on your time zone) remember them.

Not that we just remember those who fell during that awful war, but on the battlefields everywhere, ever since. I suppose, strictly, those who died before too, but its fair to say that 1918 was of course the day that Remembrance Day over here, Veterans Day in the US, is the one that all are remembered for.

No, I’m not going to get political on the matter, though its fair to say that in hindsight, the leaders on both sides in WW1 didnt think too much about planning.

But anyway, for all those brave souls who died then, and since then, I remember, and respect all you did for us, who followed you.

Oh, the celebration? Well, two friends, one long term, one who I have only got to know recently both celebrate their birthday today.

The new one, that wonderful lady who showed Kate, and I around Cherryvale, less than 2 months ago. I think it was towards the end of last year when we first made contact, due to a posting I made about, yes, going to Cherryvale, the home town of Louise Brooks. Finally, I got to meet her in September, and she was just as wonderful to me in real life, as she had been in cyberspace.

Thanks, Tina, hope you’ve had a wonderful day.

Its fair to say I’ve known James a lot longer, though I’m not sure now, just how many years it has been. But in that time, he has become a true friend, a confidant, my editor, to name but 3 things! This man is simply amazing, believe me. Oh, and to top all this, he is the one who has invited me, in less than 2 weeks now, to celebrate Thanksgiving with him, my first time doing so.

So yes, as well as remembering the brave who died fighting for us, I am celebrating the birthday of 2 wonderful people.

The video, well yes, its a war related one, though possibly not one that people would immediately relate to events.

Jersey day 5 – Invasion of the Channel Islands

Yes, thats right, its not so loudly recorded in the English history books, perhaps because of the way that Britain just left the Channel Islands to ‘do the best they could’, but part of Britain was invaded during World War 2. From July 1940, until May 1945, all of the Channel Islands became part of Hitler’s Third Reich, after Churchill, and the Navy declared that protecting them (given they were only 14 miles from occupied France at the nearest point) wasnt practical.

So after one brief bombing session on the 28th June (after which the Germans were quietly told that the Islands were demilitarized), the invading force arrived on the 1st July, and didnt leave until the 9th May 1945, after the war was over, given the Allies bypassed them on the D-Day invasion, and given the strong German defences, didnt go back and help until after the war was won! Given that the Island’s supply route was cut off at the time of D-Day, the situation there, for the locals was pretty awful before the end, not that for some it was all that good before then.

Today I paid a visit to the War Tunnels, built by the Germans during the occupation, created by a combination of exceedingly badly treated slave labour from Eastern Europe (due to every abuse known, men generally survived about 6 months of this, and far better paid workers from France, Spain and the Islands themselves.

Over 30 years ago, when I last visited the tunnels, the display was basic, to say the least. Nowadays, care of modern video and graphic capabilities, the display is far more impressive. Of course now, even allowing for inflation, its far more expensive to get in.

Obviously its impossible for me, at this point in time, to conjecture as to why Churchill did what he did, but…

All I know is, the Americans, when the Japanese invaded the Aleutian Islands (far less populated, far less a strategic outpost), they very quickly drew up plans to regain them, and did! But Britain…rolls eyes! In a sense, its amazing they still want to be part of our country!

The video, an amusing touch. A German lady, singing in both German, and English, about a little peace. More than these islands got during World War 2!