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In her excellent post about Remembrance Day, Wombat linked to a video of the poppy petals at the Festival of Remembrance. I thought it worth putting here too.

Every year through my life and before there has been an "event" at the Royal Albert Hall - not quite a service, not quite a show - in which the armed services past and present are remembered. The most moving part is the silence, when a (paper) poppy petal for each one of the service personnel who died in both World Wars and all the conflicts since is dropped on the audience and performers alike. It's profoundly moving - and there are more poppies every year.
:-(

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curiouswombat From: curiouswombat Date: November 11th, 2012 06:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thank you for posting it - it only occurred to me as I was answering that comment, and it is such a 'lump in the throat' moment.
gillo From: gillo Date: November 11th, 2012 07:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
I know. We had visitors last night, so we missed it. It's been as staple a moment as the Last Night of the Proms throughout my life - Britishness, not mere sentiment.

I feel it's so important to ensure the generations after us know too.
zanthinegirl From: zanthinegirl Date: November 11th, 2012 07:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks for posting that. Wow. It just goes on and on with more petals falling.
gillo From: gillo Date: November 11th, 2012 07:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thank Wombat - she reminded me of it. It's so much a part of the year that I had overlooked it. The sheer time it takes for the petals to fall and the people gradually being submerged in petals is incredibly moving, isn't it?
slaymesoftly From: slaymesoftly Date: November 11th, 2012 07:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
That was incredible. Very moving.
gillo From: gillo Date: November 11th, 2012 07:45 pm (UTC) (Link)
It is incredible, yet it's just part of the Remembrance weekend for us. It makes its point very powerfully, though, doesn't it?
slaymesoftly From: slaymesoftly Date: November 11th, 2012 08:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
It does.
desdemonaspace From: desdemonaspace Date: November 11th, 2012 08:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
That was just lovely. Why don't us Yanks do anything like that?

My grandpa and my uncle Rollie were both World War I vets, although I think the war was over when Rollie debarked in France right at the end.
gillo From: gillo Date: November 12th, 2012 12:35 am (UTC) (Link)
The First World War had far less impact in the USA - for us it was a million men killed over four and a half gruelling years. The poppy as a symbol comes directly from the experience of the trenches, so it's not surprising it's more of a thing over here.
desdemonaspace From: desdemonaspace Date: November 12th, 2012 02:24 am (UTC) (Link)
We're always late to the party when there's a war over there. For that, I am sorry.
gillo From: gillo Date: November 12th, 2012 10:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, logically, a war in Europe can look as if it's a little local difficulty. And even we had no clear idea why were went to war in 1914.
muttley_mutter From: muttley_mutter Date: November 16th, 2012 12:59 am (UTC) (Link)
Just seen this. At the time there was no doubt why we'd gone to war, if only because nothing less would have motivated the populace to volunteer in the droves that they did.

We went to war in 1914 because Germany invaded Belgium, and we had treaty obligations guaranteeing Belgian neutrality. In the larger sense, because of the Triple Entente with France and Russia.

If you mean "who started it" it was Austria-Hungary, who'd been itching to deal with Serbia for years.

Just thinking about the Great War gets me angry and upset by turns, anger at the General Staff (on all sides) stuck in the mindset of One Big Push and upset at the waste of life. The French were by far the worst, believing, and founding their war plans on, the élan vital of the French poilu that would ensure their success. Reaching an awful fulfilment with Nivelle's "Ils ne passeront pas!" at Verdun, leading to the tragedy of the Chemin Des Dames, following which the French Army mutinied.

Edited at 2012-11-16 01:24 am (UTC)
kortirion From: kortirion Date: November 12th, 2012 12:03 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks for posting - I turned over too late on Saturday and missed the poppies. It always brings tears to my eyes... it's so very simple, but very moving.
gillo From: gillo Date: November 12th, 2012 12:35 am (UTC) (Link)
It's amazingly powerful, no matter how often one has seen it.
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