Thursday, 11 November 2010

Remembrance Day

Today is Remembrance Day, and at 11.00am this morning the class I was teaching – who are also all members of my tutor group – stood in silence for two minutes without any prompting from me. It was humbling to realise that these young people – all twelve of them – realised how important the occasion was.

I wish I could say the same about some of my colleagues. The Vice Principal made an announcement about the Two-Minute Silence at 10.30am … but made no follow-up announcement at 11.00am to remind staff and students to stand in silence. In my mind, this was something that he should have done … but apparently he did not feel the need to do so.

In the short discussion that my class and I had after the Silence, one of them made the point that on Tuesday he had bought a copy of CALL OF DUTY: BLACK OPS … and today he was standing in silence to remember the dead of the numerous wars that have been fought since 1914. Although he did not use the term incongruous, it was certainly something that he felt uncomfortable about.

One wonders if the people who made the decision to release the game so close to Remembrance Day were similarly struck by the incongruity of their decision … or was the desire to make a commercial ‘killing’ in the run-up to Christmas too great. After all, they sold seven million copies in the first twenty-four hours … and expect that by Christmas they will sell more copies of the game than the number of people who died during the First World War.

It makes you think, doesn’t it?

6 comments:

  1. Hi Bob
    I was at a meeting all day today at the radisson at manchester airport - just before !!am our meeting room speaker in the ceiling announced that a two mimnute silence was about to commence in the hotel - observe if you chose. All 12 people in the meeting room said - almost as one - yes we should - so we stopped and observed the silence. I was genuinely impressed. I spoke to one of the women on reception who often greets us there and she said they had had almost 100% compliance - and indeed a number of customers had thanked her for making the announcement - and a number had mentioned the troops in afghanistan as an inspiration - along with those from the world wars. I must admit I was surprised, impressed and delighted in equal measure.

    Ken

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  2. Ken H,

    It is interesting that so many people are taking Remembrance Day seriously these days. I can remember when it was fashionable to look down on - and even denigrate - people who did. I understand that one or two students were talking in one class during the Silence … and other students took them to task before the staff had to.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  3. Hi Bob
    That's encouraging - the woman at the radisson also noted that people stopped and stood innthe reception area on the ground floor and waited to be told the silence was over. She was especially impressed to note how many people bowed their heads - of all ages but mainly quite young!

    Ken

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  4. Ken H,

    It is nice to hear that such things happen in so many different places.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  5. The way I see it....

    They laid down their lives so that fools like me could play at being soldiers and never have to worry about doing it for real.

    We should be eternally grateful to all who died. I wish my country made more of the day than it does.

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  6. Arquinsiel,

    That pretty well sums it up!

    All the best,

    Bob

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