Monday 11 November 2013
We went to the Remembrance Day ceremonies at the Veterans Memorial today. It was heartening to see so many teenagers and young families turning out. Not so heartening to think they may well have friends and family serving in harm's way right now.
The two minutes of silence was broken by a few baby voices. Born into freedom because of long ago sacrifices. I thought about all the children caught up in war today. Then I thought about soldiers I knew. I worked at a veteran's hospital for a couple of years. Incredible to think there are men who have lived virtually all their lives in care since returning from the front. Not only from WWII but from Korea and Vietnam too. A man in his late eighties whose shell shock (PTSD) is still so bad any loud noise or being touched from behind will cause him to lash out violently. Another man whose experiences of torture, as a young man, just a boy really, struck him dumb. Decades of silence except for chilling screams when fearful memories take hold, as they do too often. Men so badly wounded, their bodies destroyed, who lay in quiet rooms on hospital beds, year after year after year. The hospital I worked at specialises in treatment for PTSD in our current returning soldiers. It seems there will never be enough money, staff or military support to meet the need. Sad thoughts but I will remember them at the going down of the sun and in the morning.