Paula's Place

Paula's Place

Saturday, 23 June 2018


I know I have been silent here for quite a while, yet that is not what has prompted me to post again. As I was walking through Croydon town center today I noticed that an informal shrine to a boy who was murdered there last year was still in place, we have also had periods of silent remembrance for the victims of the Grenville Tower tragedy.

Every November I lead an event in Croydon for the International Transgender Day of Remembrance, we include a minute of silent remembrance.   It has become a natural way of marking a tragic loss.

Across the Country we have observed a minutes silence for the victims of terrorists attacks in Finsbury Park, Manchester, and London Bridge.   these are all tragic events, the loss of life and disruption of others is terrible and deserves to be marked.

On remembrance Sunday at eleven O'clock we have a two minute's silent act of remembrance, this marks the time when the armistice for the first world war was signed at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. It is a time for remembrance of all those who have lost their lives in conflict, all those on either side, civilians and members of the forces alike.   When I was young the whole Country stopped at Eleven O'clock on Rembrance Sunday, the traffic stopped, all work stopped, church services stopped, all of London went quiet, on Crystal Palace Hill we could hear the field gun fired on Horse Guards.

As a Nation we went through a period when somehow all this didn't seem so important, traffic failed to stop, shops continued to trade, people just stopped remembering. Then our forces became engaged in other conflicts and these deaths became more personal again.   We all knew somebody in the forces and many of us knew somebody who had died in service of the Country.   We started to remember again, more and more people started to observe that two minutes silence, but the traffic still flows, trains and buses still run, shops sell and shoppers buy.

Now, please don't get me wrong, I do feel that these tragedies need to be marked, we need an opportunity to show our grieve, to share our sadness with others, those we know and with society as a whole. However, I also worry that at some level our outpourings of grieve, our collective acts of remembrance for all sorts of sad events, tragedies, somehow dilutes the major act of National Remembrance.   In no way would I want to stop people reflecting solemnly on loss ~ perhaps  I just want them to observe Remembrance Day better, perhaps I just want a little more proportion ~ perhaps I am just worried about nothing!

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