With winter fast approaching, and George Ezra bursting through my 80s-style headphones, all senses but sight were numbed and I couldn’t help noticing the events around me.
11/11 – Remembrance Day, it becomes less poignant with each generation. It’s not that it’s less important…it merely becomes harder to truly embrace it the less you can relate to the initial devastation.
I live in a small, Northern town – bursting with good ol’ fashioned community spirit – and the WWI memorial is a token of that attitude. Engulfed in red rings, the memorial stood beside an elderly gentleman, calmly appreciating the statue and the people it represents, with a melancholy curl in his lips. As I skimmed my gaze over the poppy climbing out of the Girl Guide’s plant box, I noticed a toddler grin uncontrollably as I watched her say, “pretty flowers” – completely silently through my beret-and-headphones combination.
As I watched this scene unfold – whilst clutching onto my Literature folder, hugging it, trying to stay warm on my brisk walk to college – I began thinking about the solemn, yet content smile on the man’s lips and the innocence of the little girl who is yet to know the significance of the “pretty flowers” and the sad tales they represent.
The girl will eventually grow to become aware of why the poppies are there…and the man will die knowing he is proud of the men who fought to save us. Will the girl ever have that same sense of pride? One day, will she be resting her eyes against that same memorial, reminiscing about the years gone by and how time has changed since then? On one level, I hope she can remain happy. I hope that innocent grin will find its place in many more aspects in her life. However, on another level, I know what a shame it would be for the poignancy of those men’s deaths to ever be forgotten.