Sunday was Remembrance Day in England, and Veteran’s Day in the U.S. These days honoring the men and women who serve their countries coincide with Armistice Day, always taking place on November 11. (I kind of had to look up all of that. Shame on me.)
I chose to take my mom to London Sunday simply because it’s easier to find parking at Epping station on the weekend and there was sun in the forecast. All I planned was to emerge from the Underground at Westminster so that her first glimpse of London would be of the Thames, the London Eye and Big Ben.
I knew nothing of the Remembrance Day parade or the Field of Remembrance at Westminster Abbey, which has been displayed annually by the Royal British Legion since 1928.
There is something so powerful in seeing row after row after row of paper poppies attached to the names and memories of individuals lost in war. Our visit was accompanied by a soundtrack of the Abbey’s ringing bells and loud drum thumps from the parade. There was no traffic. Any conversation was a whisper.
These are just the fallen service members whose friends or family have paid to have a cross (or Star of David or Muslim crescent or a secular tribute) placed. In just one location! There are several Fields of Remembrance. And there are millions of other victims to the wars our world has endured.
A remembrance plot for U.S. Armed Forces was far from full, but there were service members represented from all of the last century’s wars.
Please don’t forget.
Serving one’s country can come at a hefty price. If you’re enjoying a day off from work to observe Veteran’s Day in the U.S., please take a few moments to honor the veterans who have taken that risk to serve our country (and check out this post by John Adams of Operation Gratitude).
Thank you, veterans.