Yesterday morning I went to the local Brighton Remembrance Parade and Service, which is held down at the Old Steine, by the War Memorial (incidentally, oppposite Son's old flat, the scene of our struggles last year). I was reminded that this time last year Daughter and Grandson stood on the balcony and watched the parade in the sunshine. This year the weather wasn't so good, but at least it didn't rain. When the gun fired at 11 o'clock, everyone fell silent, and there was no sound of traffic. Only the seagulls didn't observe the silence. They flew up and circled around, their strange, sad cries oddly appropriate. During the silence there was a fierce gust of wind which appeared from nowhere and made us all shiver. I was moved to tears, as always, particularly when I saw all the young cadets in their uniforms with their shining faces and polished boots, and thought of all those wonderful young men who went (straight from school some of them) to the dreadful trenches, never to return. Some of them had no boots at all, and walked with bloody feet, many of them blinded with that hideous mustard gas, to field hospitals that had no hope of coping with the numbers of casualties. And as for those poor Mothers - yesterday or today, to lose your children in a War is the most terrible thing.
Why do we still have Wars? It's the eternal question. I don't have an answer, and I don't believe that any answer is really good enough. Perhaps there will come a day when the world has had enough of killing. Perhaps..