in the Sefton area on 11 November and 13 November 2011
IT would seem that this
year there is a greater awareness and appreciation of the role
of our armed services and their auxiliary colleagues have
played, and continue to play in the defence of our nation.
Questions may well be asked on the appropriateness of
intervention in many modern arenas of war, but happily there
seems to be a renewed heightening of awareness of the
consequences of warfare for many participants. The frequent news
of injuries and deaths forces us to face the realities of war
and may be leads to some greater insight in the general public
of combat stress and to the general problems such as the
dislocation of lives some experience following active service.
The Royal British Legion, formed in the aftermath of World War
One, is celebrating its 90th year this year and is still playing
a major role in supporting service personnel and their families.
Other charities also help, especially in immediate provision,
but the RBL are continually giving sterling support, physically,
mentally and financially to those in need.
It was good to see so
many "wearing their poppies with pride!" It really
is not about the glorification of war, but rather a sombre
awareness of all of its consequences; historically and,
pertinently, its present time aftermath. As an ex-serviceman
said:- "It upsets me to hear on the radio and TV , people
saying that it is the upper classes glorifying war and the armed
services, and that the increase in public demonstration, as the
bodies who have sacrificed their lives for this country are
repatriated, indicates a justification for war. It is just an
acknowledgment that they have paid the ultimate price to protect
freedom and liberties."
At the eleventh hour of the eleventh day, of the eleventh month,
throughout Merseyside, as in the widest reaches of the
Commonwealth, there were many parades and services and these
were repeated on Remembrance Sunday. During these services it
was promised to fallen "We Will Remember Them." It
was heartening to see young people absorbing just what we today
owe to the previous generations in terms of our freedom; but
continuing to this day in other more recent conflicts such as
the Falklands, the Middle East and Afghanistan. The past should
always inform the present and then maybe some conflicts might be
averted in the future.
Our photographs were taken in Sefton, in Formby, Southport and
at the Five Lamps Waterloo, but all were typical of those at
Cenotaphs, Churches and other sites throughout the Land.
Veterans still marched proudly despite advancing years,
joined by cadets from local organisations and other bodies, with
representatives of all ages. The Mayor of Sefton was present at
the services having rushed from one to another, as did other
dignities and officials. Children from local schools, in large
numbers also took part in various ways. Ceremonies, on the
whole, followed the familiar format so meaningful to many; the
dignified parades with proudly held standards, the evocative
exhortation to Remember the Fallen, the poignant trumpet or
bugle calls resounding over many areas resonated with the
attendant crowds but even more moving the palpable silence which
was respected by people and vehicles beyond the immediate
vicinity; perhaps another sign of the reawakening of public
awareness. Slightly less usual was the ceremony, held every year
after the main event, at the graves of Polish Airmen, at the
rear of Formby’s Our Lady of Compassion Church. Father Collins
led a meaningful service in the presence of members of the
Polish Community in Merseyside and a visitor from Poland
alongside locals. Father Collins had also brought awareness of
these gallant airmen to the fore by decorating the Church in
remembrance but also including photographs of these men and
other details and information pertinent to their sacrifice and
that of others. This changed abstract names in to real people,
which was very moving. As for so many lost in combat, so young,
so far from home, so tragic.
We must never forget!
These photographs and video represent a small part of
remembrance in our region. If you have any form other locations,
particularly Liverpool and Merseyside, we would love to know.
here now to see the rest of