David Blackburn

A great shame

A great shame
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The Afghan war has claimed its 200th British soldier killed in action, a tragic milestone for this Remembrance Sunday. There is growing concern that younger generations are not as engaged with the act of remembrance as previous generations. Widespread public involvement at Wooton Bassett would disprove that, but that so many of the war memorials erected in towns and villages across the country in the wake of the two World Wars have been allowed to fall into disrepair is a national shame.

A war memorial is a symbol of community, a reflection of gratitude for those who have given their lives for their country, and they are particularly pertinent at this point. The contrast between the many disintegrating memorials in this country and the continued magnificence of continental memorials to the memory of British soldiers, such as the Menin Gate in Ypres, is striking.