These are the most mournful days of our year. To stand in some corner that is, truly, ‘forever England’ just now is to bring fresh salt tears to the eye……
The Captain was not there but was lucky enough to have known veterans of The Great War. Almost to a man they felt it very difficult to talk of the events in which they had taken part, of the scenes which they had witnessed. But enough was said to make a profound impression.
Fifty years ago, when the sneering classes were hard at work denigrating their sacrifice, the number of visits to the Western Front and to the battlefields of France and Flanders in 1940 and the liberation of 1944-45 had dwindled.
The Captain was a visitor, but it was noticeable how few people seemed to be there. Mostly the visitors were in twos and threes and were either veterans or their families. It had become fashionable to forget.
Now, however, and not just at this time of Remembrance, we see an entirely different phenomenon. The places where our kith and kin lie buried or whose death in battle is commemorated now teem with life.
Young people, in particular, have discovered the likes of Tyne Cot and Thiepval. They come in coach loads and their enthusiasm for knowledge is quite gratifying.
Those of us who believe that the two world wars of the 20th. century were just and righteous wars fought against the aggressive German desire to have hegemony over Europe and that the United Kingdom deserves a place of honour at every table which matters for the blood and treasure she selflessly sacrificed for the freedom and independence of others, should not automatically assume, however, that the motivation of our young people is borne of a similar sense. That may play some part. But we should guard against the natural curiosity of young people to understand these conflicts being used by leftist teachers to spread another message: one which peddles pacifism, the canard that the Great War was a war fought to preserve capitalist interests, that these were ‘lions led by donkeys’ (and the ‘donkeys are still with us’), or using the Second World War to bleat on yet more about the Nazis whilst the Marxist teachers conveniently forget about the fact that the Communists killed far more people than Hitler ever did and carried on suppressing freedom for, in the case of Russia, seventy years or, in the case of Eastern Europe, for more than forty years.
Our Freedom and Independence are threatened once more. We must defend it once more. The message of Tyne Cot, Thiepval, of Dunkirk and Normandy is that we in the United Kingdom are at our best when we are free to defend those things.
Today we watch as Germany reverses the decisions of 1918 and 1945 by economic muscle. Germany remains the motor of the European Union which it will ruthlessly use for its own economic and political ends. If you doubt this, just note who it is who has the gift of ‘reform’ of the EU in her hands: Frau Anglea Merkel. Germany is terrified we will pick up our ball and go play somewhere else, leaving a huge hole in the EU accounts (our share is 12 1/2%, folks!) which it and the other net contributors will have to cough up to keep Greek goat farmers supplied with the latest Mercedes.
To allow those decisions to be overturned means that the sacrifice of our kith and kin will have been entirely wasted, particularly if the UK remains in the EU where we shall be but bit players when faced with the Franco-German axis.
We must not fail them. Ever.