Roses and Memorials

A tragic stupid war that should never be forgotten.

I placed a rose down at the Myland War Memorial.  The First World War should never be forgotten.

I placed a rose down at the Myland War Memorial in Colchester. The First World War 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.


11 responses to “Roses and Memorials

  1. Profoundly sad memories of an ugly period. Beyond comprehension to really know what those poor young men went through. Thanks Alex.

  2. A worthy post to which I would humbly add that we ought never forget those who fought and lost lives. As for war itself, why remember the ones fought for no useful purpose? Asked rhetorically….

    • There have been many wars, but the First World War is worthy of attention because it involved most of the world and highlights all the reasons why people should find alternatives. War is the easy option, the alternative requires wisdom, humility and courage to find the solution.

  3. What a lovely thing to do. It is so sad how many wars continue to rage around the world, and how many more are doubtlessly to come. I feel so grateful to live in a place of peace.

    • Unfortunately the world seems in a cycle of warmongering at this moment: Russia may attack Ukraine in the next few days; Armenia and Azerbaijan have begun fighting each other. People seem unwilling or unable to look for alternatives. I go to places in nature which are a blessing in their calm.

  4. yurtsevyarici2013

    Reblogged this on Çanakkale Şehitlik Turu.

  5. What a wonderful tribute to those who gave their all…… Bless you Alex

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