A tragic stupid war that should never be forgotten.
In 1909 my town of Colchester declared its own holiday as everyone indulged in a pageant celebrating the history and stories of the town. One of the young pageant performers was Jack Clarke aged 14 who I randomly selected as a subject of research into his historical era. Jack and the pageant was a small part of a society ended by war. Jack died in the First World War. An attempt to hold a pageant in 2009 failed for lack of community interest and money, a far cry from a hundred years before.
It was for people like Jack Clarke that I yesterday purchased dark red roses, something living yet temporary and fragile like the lives so easily extinguished by machine gun and explosive shell. Colchester has many memorials to the fallen, I visited seven of them, placing one rose at each of the memorials.
There was no ceremony or words as I placed each rose at each memorial, I let action speak for me. I placed a rose in the Colchester Town Hall war memorial, the building where the elected rulers of Colchester make their decisions.
I walked a few miles to Myland which has a war memorial opposite a church. A bunch of flowers was already placed at this monument, ribbons trailing down the edges of the memorial. I placed my one rose upon the memorial. I sat a while at a nearby bench. It was tranquil. The church clock struck twelve midday, I had no watch and I left my cellphone at home, I wanted to step out of time for a while. I notice the names on the memorial: four Wheelers; three Munsons; many names repeated; many families of this parish were hit hard by this war. An elderly woman came, placed her flowers on the monument. I said how stupid this war was, she nodded. A dozen laughing children walked past, always the hope for a happy bright future. Each rose I place has a little note attached, my hope that some might read, this war should be remembered.