Remembrance Saturday .
George hates Remembrance Sunday. The annual wreath laying, poppy buying, and honouring of the war dead gives this 94 year old veteran of the 1943-5 Italian campaign sleepless nights.
“No amount of sleeping pills help. It brings back lost friends, near misses and six years soaking the bed with sweat very night. They should stop it. Surely those veterans they parade around in wheelchairs don’t like being treated as museum pieces.”
In the 1950s George went regularly to the war graves in Italy. He even donated his medals for their upkeep. “But there is a time when you have to move on, try and forget.”
But the nation state needs its “Blood Sacrifice”. Be it on the Somme, Verdun, Gallipoli, Easter Sunday, Vimy Ridge or Gettysburg. The blood shed confirms the nation and must be honoured and worshipped.
With Sheffield born Darryl staying it was across the river to Fulham v Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday. Before the lacklustre match on a cold day there was a ceremony commemorating the end of the Battle of the Somme. Serving soldiers presented wreaths and names of players who died in the Great War were read out.
During the one minute’s silence the plaintive notes of the Last Post were bugled. And then from the deep terraces movement. Clapping started and soon rippled around the ground. 25000 clapping ,the past, the dead? Maybe. Or just another way(see weddings) of a passive audience moving on and actively participating, saying we will not just stand and stare, we are part of this, this is what we like, this is what we do. Very moving.
Which is more than be said of the game. Having been behind for most of the game Fulham roused itself to give some value for the £30 ticket in the last five minutes to draw 1-1. Once more I promised never to watch them again. Its a promise I have broken before. Lest we forget.