― Arthur Schopenhauer, Parerga and Paralipomena
At this time of year, the world takes a few moments to commemorate the contribution of military and civilian servicemen and women in the two World Wars and later conflicts. We wear a poppy and read stories about amazing veterans in the newspapers. For a little while the UK pulls together and thank those who fought for us.
For me, the first week of November is a cold reminder of those I've lost and I will never be able to hear a firework without thinking of them. I tend to avoid Bonfire Night if at all possible as I find it hard to enjoy the evening.
As I walked through Embankment tube station yesterday I caught sight of the Ode of Rememberance poem on a whiteboard and even though I see it every year, for some reason it really struck me and I couldn't stop thinking about the words all afternoon.
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.
The Tower of London has a beautiful memorial at the moment of hundreds of thousands of ceramic poppies, in total 888,246 will be placed in tribute to the fallen. They have all been sold to private buyers and will be distributed after Armistice Day, raising around £11m which is an amazing amount. I had great intentions to go and visit but with the popularity of the event outweighing the space I've heard it's almost impossible to get a good view so I've not managed to make it down.
If you want to support the British Legion get yourself a poppy here