Saturday, October 31, 2009

Remembrance Garden Blessing

Seven years ago this was my first big public function after my induction. With little time to prepare with the RBL committee, and get a proper briefing, that occasion was all a bit chaotic. Nowadays, it is all well prepared - although getting some of the persistent spelling errors out of the order of service, prepared elsewhere and imported, is still on the 'to do' list.

These days we have both the Welsh pipe band and the St Athan Silver band in attendance to play the hymns and incidental music, and a servicable outdoor public address system. Not that the military types involved in running the ceremonial side are interested in using it. But I do, as I am not prepared to shout prayers at God, against the background of street buskers and crowd noise. It all works very well, although its evident with the passage of time that fewer and few of veterans of the older generation of conflicts are present. Of the more recent conflicts (post Korean War, shall we say) there are few veterans altogether anyway - so the character of the event is slowly changing. A new generation of much younger veterans has yet to take its lace among the ranks of the elders. I wonder if some of them are wanting to forget their experiences rather than remember them personally at present.

The garden of remembrance looked good by the end of the ceremony, enhanced this year by the placing of the giant artificial poppies in the tree which stands at the centre of the churchyard. I hope this is something that will in time become a 'traditional' practice.

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