Thursday, 7 May 2020

Dunkirk Spirit

If there is one thing this wretched virus has brought out  everywhere it is a sense of friendliness and cooperation.   Whoever I pass on my daily 'allowed' exercise always speaks - just to say hello or remark on the weather or say something about Percy.   And of course because it has been pleasant weather this week the sunshine has helped to raise everyone's spirits too.    But, this being the UK and a Bank Holiday week-end, the weather is set to change with the temperature on Sunday set to be at least ten degrees colder everywhere as the wind sweeps down straight from the Arctic.

Earlier the nurseryman who is usually on our Friday market called and dropped me off two bags of compost and a dozen sturdy young antirrhinum plants.   They are half hardy so they will stay out tonight but then I shall have to bring them in for a night or two until the temperature goes back up again.

Tomorrow is, of course, the 75th anniversary of the end of the  Second  World War in Europe.   My first husband was on the Death Railway in Thailand and my mother in law used to say how horrified they were at the celebrations when two of her sons were still prisoners of the Japanese.  But I was thirteen at the time and remember the day well (and the American soldiers with their nylons and their chocolate - my mother issued stern warnings I remember).   I have very mixed feelings about the celebrations -maybe it is not a good idea to glorify war in this way.   I would be interested to hear what others feel about this.   But I did watch a half hour programme on Dame Vera Lynn this evening - about her childhood and then her professional career.   She went out to Burma to sing to the troops in an area where it was very dangerous.  She is now 103 and chatted away just as she always has done - her faculties seemed in no way to be diminished.   Amazing.

22 comments:

the veg artist said...

My father was still in Burma. It must have been hard on wives and families still not knowing when they would come home.

justjill said...

My Dad used to say he liberated Belgium. His brother came back from the desert and didnt speak for 6 months. You do wonder if what is happening today they would think what did we fight for?

Rachel Phillips said...

VE Day is a day of remembrance for those who sacrificed so much in WW2 and the defeat of Nazi Germany. They must never be forgotten.

liparifam said...

Not a glorification of war - a celebration of the end of war :) I agree with Rachel - never forget...

Joanne Noragon said...

What a relief when it ended. Too bad there were so many loose ends to be tied up, but for the vast majority, a celebration.

Anonymous said...

I was pleased that you mentioned Dame Vera Lynn, an inspiration to the Eng!ish speaking world. I have been going to YouTube and drawing a lot of hope from her recordings especially "When The Lights Go On Again All Over The World" and for some jolly good fun, "Bless Them All". At 103, Dame Vera is still going strong and still doing her job.

Bonnie said...

I think it is good to celebrate the end of war and also good to remember and honor all those that fought for us. My father and all of my uncles fought in WWII and one of my uncles did not return. I agree with Rachel and the others that say we should never forget these soldiers and what they fought for. I fear too many younger people today do not understand or care to remember.

Cro Magnon said...

And the poor folk of Guernsey and Jersey had another day to wait before their invaders were sent packing. Most of Europe will be celebrating today, but I've never heard what the Germans themselves do!

Derek Faulkner said...

Following Cro's comment, it will be interesting to get Librarian's comments on what happens in Germany. I would imagine those poor people in Germany were just as happy to see the end of WW2 as we were. The events today are more a case of remembering those who gave so much to get the war ended, than a celebration of war itself.

Anonymous said...

35 years ago I worked at an Age Concern Day Centre. The elderly attendees were asked if they wanted to do anything to celebrate the then 40 year anniversary. The majority said no, they just wanted to forget the war. For this reason I won’t be celebrating VE Day.

Rachel Phillips said...

I am listening to some wonderful memories on the radio this morning from those still alive today, who lived through it. Many people in tears on Zoe Ball show and stories of surviving the Blitz and many more memories.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Interesting to read what you all have to say and I agree with it all. I watched some of the programmes on TV last evening and was touched by how very upset the old men were to remember the war days and the loss of comrades. I did go to the museum at Arnhem some years ago and found it too much to bear - I remember Arnhem well and later knew somebody who had survived it - I do agree we must never forget.

Christine H Hancock said...

Yes we too notice people smile and say hello on our walk. Be nice if it carries on.

Rachel Phillips said...

From watching many programmes on the History Channel about Nazi Germany and WW2 it has always come across to me that the German people did not like the surrender nor accept that they had lost the War and did not start to look at it differently until some years later when the recovery started and a new generation began taking over. In fact many of the former Nazi generation never accepted the surrender or that they done anything wrong.

Dartford Warbler said...

It feels more like a day of commemoration than celebration.

Enjoy watching your snapdragons grow.

Maureen @ Josephina Ballerina said...

I don't watch any war movies, etc. I was a child when the Vietnam War was in full swing. Every night the most ghastly images filled the news broadcasts. My brother was in the army at the time and I was continually terrified. I guess remembering the days like VE and VJ Day are ok if it's a remembrance of the winning over tyrants. But, as you say, glorifying war? Not so much.

The Furry Gnome said...

Snow is forecast here tonight!

Marjorie said...

Today is a commemoration of the end of the war in Europe. I do not recognize the end of the Second World War until the Japanese surrender on August 15. There is nothing to celebrate. We need to remember all those who served. I can imagine the grief of your MIL on this day 75 years ago with her worry about her son and lack of knowing how he was. Hugs.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Thank you to youall for your points of view - most interesting to read.

Derek Faulkner said...

My memory of today will be of the Royal Family hiding away from the virus, Prince Charles in Scotland and the Queen in Windsor and therefore no one on the balcony of Buckingham Palace. How different to the bravery shown by the Queen Mother and King in WW2 by remaining in London and suffering the bombing.

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