Last week was a tough week, a crazy week. To a certain extent I’ve lost track of what time of year it is, what day it is. And I hope it’s not too late to acknowledge Remembrance Day.
I booked my car in for a service this morning. The mechanic I have known for years had a photo on the wall of a handsome young man in uniform. Turns out it was his brother who is in the army and is serving in Iraq. His brother had done badly in school, wandered directionless from one dead-end job to the next, his sense of self eroded. Then at 22 a friend convinced him to join the army as a way of gaining an apprenticeship and some focus. He never expected to see active duty.
Every day my mechanic fears for his brother’s life. Every day his brother fears that he will have to take a stranger’s life in the name of duty. He takes things day by day, acting honourably, swallowing his struggles while straining to hear the one word that will change everything – HOME.
Thank you to all those people who have served or have given their lives in war. Thank you and Godspeed to all those still serving. The poet, Edward Thomas, sums it up best for me.
In Memoriam (Easter 1915)
“The flowers left thick at nightfall in the wood
This Eastertide call into mind the men,
Now far from home, who, with their sweethearts, should
Have gathered them and will do never again.”