Yesterday 11th November was Remembrance Day. On that day I thought of all those who went to the battle field to save their countries, and I wore a “poppy”as a sign of respect!And most of all I always remember and think of my father who joined the British Army as a young man. When I was growing up, he told me lots of stories about soldiers, his army days and how life was being a soldier. I learned from him a song “He’ll be coming round the mountain when he comes” and that was the song that him and his soldier friends sang and I grew up knowing this song by heart. He taught me how they paraded and I did it too with him and it was fun time I had, and to date I still remember all those laughing moments I thought I was a “little soldier girl.” I still remember “YES SIR, NO SIR.” He was a dad who continually loved telling me of his life as a soldier all through my years of innocence until to the day that I came to comprehension of the whole affair of one being a soldier.
And still I remember how he said he was so joyous when he arrived home and they sang army songs while they were disembarking from their ship. I was so young to even imagine a picture of how it was. But today I could think back and create the image of a ship docked into the harbor, and the soldiers disembarking, and all parents, wives, and families streamed themselves to surround them. How I wish I was around that time. I would imagine those early days were so exciting. It makes me feel so emotional while I am writing this blog.
I grew up loving soldiers and the life they live giving their time to save their countries. And as always in my life, anytime I would come across any kinds of information about soldiers, I would read about them, I would pick up any magazine that has something to do with soldiers or armies or battlefield. I just love reading about them and until today I still have the love for soldiers and thanks to my father who gave me this inspiration since I was a little girl. I am a “fan” of soldiers!
Remembrance day is when I think of questions that I could have asked my father but they are questions that I think would disturb him even more. I always think the biggest sadness of his life might have been to see his friends falling. Is there any of his friends who have given him words that he still think of to this day that he has never spoken about? I have always seen my dad went in deep reflection when I was a child, and I remember at times I used to ask him, “Papa what are you thinking of?” And he responded to me “I am thinking of you.” And to have reached my age of comprehension when I think back on those days, I also go down into a deep reflection that my father may have been thinking of his army days when time became tough and seeing his friends falling, and perhaps his wish was he could have saved them but he was himself helpless to do so.
I imagine my father has a piece of the world that he doesn’t speak about. He never spoke of combat to me, and one day I was talking to someone who was once a soldier, and I mentioned to him that my father never told me about combat. He said to me, “listen and I will tell you something.” He then said to me that “those who have seen combat do not talk about it and those who talk about it have not seen combat.” Since that day I learned something new. And at times I think that he is still alive on the outside and there maybe a space inside his heart that is not living, and this is where all his friends who did not return home are all scattered.
We all know that being a soldier is not an easy life and an easy task. They know lots of things. A soldier’s mind is a camera with lots of pictures that will never be printed for us to watch and understand what has happened. They alone know how the pictures look like. The pictures are visible to them alone, but invisible to us.
Soldiers are sons and daughters, sisters and brothers, aunties and uncles, and in other words, they are families to all of us. They were born to have two different worlds and the battlefield is one of them. And getting back into society after serving is a different world, and it will always be a different world.
They all did their duties. They survived and returned home and some of their friends did not come back with them to the civil society. Soldiers are people whose minds will always focus on the battle field. They will always live in the warrior world where they will never leave until their last breath and their life is to keep their word of honor.
Today is Veterans Day, and we thank our soldiers for their services they give to us every day, and for having served and protected our country.
I wish our British soldiers and all soldiers around the world courage and those who are in the battle field, may god bless you all and safe journey back home!
(Pictures and words belong to My Country Epoque!)