For millions around the world November 11th is a time to remember those who have not returned from global conflict. Fathers, brothers, husbands who gave their lives. Most of our families have been touched in some way by this devastating loss. My own grandfather died on November 2nd 1918 leaving behind a little girl of 11 months old that never knew her father.
The fact is our world is in constant conflict all the time somewhere. Young men and women from many nations are still putting their lives on the line, and whilst we all mourn the loss of life that results from these international disputes; there is little publicity about those that return wounded in body and mind.
Today is also a time to remember those who returned from conflict, changed physically, mentally and emotionally.
I was honoured to interview one such man for my television company. Mark Ormrod is a Royal Marine who lost both legs and an arm in Afghanistan and he is an absolute inspiration. Here is Mark talking about the events leading up to this catastrophic event in a video for the charity Blesma
Mark wrote a book about the events that changed his life forever.
However, for many of those who have been severely wounded in war, experiences on their return can be desperate. Mark describes these extremely difficult challenges in a recent interview in The Standard.
The charity Blesma is specifically for those service men and women who have lost limbs and you can find out more details here. https://blesma.org/ They raise funds to ensure that those who have to face a lifetime of disability receive the best possible treatment and equipment needed to lead their lives as normally as they can.
There are other charities who work on behalf of service personnel on their return and here are some in both the UK, United States and Australia and if you are considering donating to charity then you might consider these and others, as they are all worthy recipients. There are also some organisations that work with the families of those in the armed services and they do very important work particularly with the children who like my mother have been left without a father or mother.
United States: http://www.woundedwarriorproject.org/
I would like to think that those who did not return are in a better place and that they are looking down on the millions of their descendants who remember them today. And being Irish I am sure that my grandfather enjoyed a good song as I hear he was a bit of a ‘lad’ back in the day! Later today in the Wednesday music spot I will be sharing some of the songs that kept the spirits up of those on the front line.
My mother was 95 when she died and one of the conversations we had in the months leading up to her death was about her father and how she hoped she would now get to meet him in person for the first time.
Here is the Last Post including the two-minute silence at the Royal British Legion Service.
Thanks for joining me here today…Sally