Wednesday, 7 November 2012

That's it

That's it, I said, rushing to find a piece of paper to write the exact words down.  Dame Stephanie Shirley has just been on Radio 4. She was explaining that still, all these years after arriving here as a refugee, she feels she has to "make my life worth living to make my life worth saving"; to "justify my survival".  And that's exactly how I now feel.   Dear Dame Steve summed it up exactly.

The other piece of information I picked up was from a contributor whose name I didn't record but he said "there is no such thing as an unwounded soldier".  How true.  I remember my father who survived the second World War against all the odds after being parachuted into France, bombed by the Americans and taken prisoner. He volunteered to become a paramedic, to parachute, and to carry out bomb disposal.  And yes, he was damaged psychologically in so many ways that even I as a child and young woman could see. I guess the stress also damaged him physically - he was dead at 61. It certainly put paid to the pacifist that originally joined up. 

Every Remembrance Day I stand at the war memorial thinking how fruitless and stupid war is.  I do it for him really because he no longer can. I don't do it to glory in the men who didn't come back or to satisify some nationalistic trait. Standing round a war memorial for a few minutes each year and donning our poppies forces us to face the reality of legalised murder by others on our behalf. It's still going on and we have to accept some of the blame. 

And in that context, how relieved I was to hear that Obama is back in the White House.  The endless analysis of USA politics by British media has been very boring, but today I was glad to hear the news. I feel that the world is a much safer place today.

No comments:

Post a Comment