The Hospital of St Cross, Winchester
These words are probably taken from Horace's Odes "Dulce et decorum est pro patria more
", which means "It is sweet and fitting to die for one's country
" or could be from Wilfred Owen's poem of the same title.
These are the names of the twenty men from St Cross who gave their lives in World War II - for their country.
This plaque is alongside the slightly ostentatious, carefully positioned, memorial for WWI in the tiny War Memorial Chapel.
Unlike the memorial for the First World War there is no mention of rank, military seniority or branch of military service. Their names are listed only in alphabetical order.
The comparative simplicity of this single tablet of stone is startling. It made me realise that it must have been impossible for people to have imagined they would need further debts of remembrance after the Great War ended in 1914, and when the time came they had to find not only the right place but also the right way to try to do the right thing by these people and their families.
The simplicity of this tablet, the way it resembles the top of a tomb, brings home to me the horror of this second world conflict - that happened within living memory of the survivors of WW1, who thought they had brought peace to Europe.
This memorial is
in the right place, it is
the right design.
These men are not forgotten.
Today, Tuesday 11th November 2008, in cities, towns and villages throughout the United Kingdom, there will be a two minutes silence, beginning at 11:00 a.m., to mark the exact moment World War One ended.
In my town, in the street alongside the War Memorial, there will be a short service and a prayer of remembrance. Members of the Royal British Legion
will stand to attention, dip their flags and bow their heads alongside members of the public who will have gathered round the memorial. They will pause for two minutes to think of those who lost their lives that we might be free from tyranny
This link takes you to a video excerpt from the annual "Festival Of Remembrance" in the Albert Hall.
Please watch it ... *Festival of Remembrance Poppies*
... Each poppy petal represents a life lost.
The time you have taken to read my words and watch that short video will be about two minutes.
It is not long, yet in those two minutes we can reflect on the horrors of war and the debt we owe all those who gave their lives to make sure we, who came after them, would have those two minutes to stop and think.
"When you go home..
Tell them of us, and say
For their tomorrow
We gave our today"