Freedom is never free, it requires sacrifice, to those that have died, those that have served, those that have done all manner of things so that we may sleep peacefully in our beds at night, we remember you, we say thank you.
“They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
"Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.”
This is my script from BBC Radio Ulster Thought for the Day. You can read it below, or listen online - choose 10 November, and play from around 6.55am
The Message – TFTD Script Two
Today, just over 90 years ago a top secret message was received by the Western Union Cable Office in North Sydney, Nova Scotia, and telegraphed on to Ottawa, Ontario, and Washington DC. Sent from Europe the message read:
‘On November 11, 1918, all fighting will cease on land, sea and in the air.’
The First World War - was over.
The War that was to be over by Christmas, 1914, had come to an end four brutal, bloody and battle scarred years, later. It wiped out entire generations of men in every country that fought. It is estimated that somewhere between 9-15 million people died as a result of World War One.
The Allied victors carved up the war torn countries of their former enemies, and in as little as 17 months, created the borders of Europe, Yugoslavia, and most of the Middle East. The war to end all wars had fashioned a world map that was to bring little but war, conflict, violence and death to all generations across the globe for the next 100 years.
Death and suffering are direct consequences of war. The pain of the death of a loved one in war for those left behind to pick up the pieces does not discriminate between winners or the losers. In the finality of death we all lose.
War for many of us this morning is fought in a field or mountaintop in a far off land. It means little beyond the news reports we read in the papers or see in television. But for the families of the millions of people that have died in wars & conflicts in the 20th Century, war means death, deep sadness, loss and pain. War represents the complete and utter collapse of the human spirit.
Tomorrow we have the choice to remember those that have fought and died in Wars throughout the last century, right up those wars being fought at the moment in Iraq and Afghanistan.
When we remember tomorrow, we remember more than winners or losers, we remember people, just like us with names and personal stories, who are now gone and who’s loss will be felt by their families, for the rest of their lives - the son growing up without a father, the widow carrying an unborn child, a daughter without her mother, parents who bury their own children.
Remembering is not about us - it’s about them.
Remember, Remembrance does not take sides, but instead reminds us that life is precious - life is valuable - life is fleeting - life is for living. We honour those that have died, and those left behind, as well as ourselves when we chose to remember.
Nicky Cahill, October 2011
That's it for now ...
Salt and Sparkle = Life Remarkable