Seething mad...anyone else???

Seething mad...anyone else???

Joined: April 22nd, 2004, 8:51 pm

September 18th, 2005, 6:30 pm #1

Grrr, had to vent.
Battle of Britain Weekend here in my home town, surrounded by ex air force stations and many,many graves.
Visited several BoB graves today to lay flowers, what I found made me SO ANGRY!!! No flowers, no services NOTHING.
I'd bought some red white and blue flowers and put them on the headstones, one of which was obscured by the grass clippings from the church, half a bottle of P*ss from drunken yobs the night before, god I'm so angry (if you hadn't gathered that already)
Doesn't anyone give a damn???
(apart from us lot)
These were local boys, Leslie Pidd (died September 15th 1940) and John Ramshaw (who was so loved then that the Minster in Beverley was floodlit in his honour after the war)Leslie Pidd was only 22 and has lots of living relatives.
Sorry to rant, makes me so sad more than anything.
On a lighter note, good to see lots of ATC lads and lasses giving up their Saturday to collect on behalf on the wings appeal.
K
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Joined: April 10th, 2004, 8:08 pm

September 18th, 2005, 8:14 pm #2

Kate,

I know what you mean. In my home town (Stafford) there was a commerative parade today with many RAF personnel but sadly few BoB veterans left. The occasion is especially poignant as we have recently heard that RAF Stafford is to close, so this will probably be the last year in which the BoB parade takes place.

I went to the open day at RNAS Yeovilton yesterday and the BoB Memorial Flight put on a good show.

I can't understand why politicians of a certain UK party often advocate that the anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar should be made a public holiday, but hardly anyone even recognises BoB day officially or privately. Do you have a theory why this may be the case?

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Joined: April 22nd, 2004, 8:51 pm

September 18th, 2005, 8:47 pm #3

Not sure Wilf, not even a word about Arnhem on the news tonight either.....I get the feeling it's 'ok, thats your big anniversary, now go away and die quietly in the corner there's a good chap'
Glad I'm not the only one muttering in the corner!
K
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Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

September 19th, 2005, 9:33 pm #4

Kate,
While the lack of any acknowledgement of BoB Day is a travesty, I think what you've described is the net result of the time that has passed since WW2. In today's hustle-bustle world, WW2 is ancient history.

While the BoB was a defining moment (IMO, anyway), it's rapidly receding into history much as other (then) major events have done.

Using the US as example, look at Dec 7 -- Pearl Harbor attack. Another defining moment which received a few seconds commentary at the very end of the evening news last year. Same for VE/VJ day over the past few years. The one notable exception was 2005 -- simply due to it being the 60th anniversary of the end of the war. Next year it will once again be a passing footnote, if mentioned at all.

Depending on your age, the view of WW2 can skew markedly (being in the US, I'm using US history as my example). To someone born in the 1950s/60s, WW2 was the dominating event -- being barely 10-15 years in the past. This war was fought by fathers, uncles, and some grandparents. WW1 was the war of the grandparents -- about 40 years in the past. The Korean War was less than 10 years distant and the looming disaster of Vietnam was just beginning. The US Civil War ended 100 years.

Fast forward to those born in the 1970s/80s. WW2 was fought by this generations grandparents. The war ended 30-40 years previous. Korea was a stalemate eclipsed by the legacy of the "last good war (WW2)" and the debacle of the freshly-ended Vietnam War.

Forward to today. To the youth of today, WW2 looks the same as the Spanish-American War (1898) did to a child in the 1960s. Using the same comparative views, the Korean War appears as WW1. The Vietnam War approximates WW2 and the first Gulf War occupies the place of the Korean War.

Most of us will (hopefully) make it to the 100 year anniversery of WW2. Using the above comparison, the view of the youth of this timeframe will be the same as the view back at the US Civil War or the Franco-Prussian War.

Bloody depressing

On the positive side, reenacting/living history is thriving. As result, the sacrifices of the WW2 generation will continue to be honored and remembered.


Last edited by AOC553 on September 20th, 2005, 12:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: December 9th, 2003, 10:45 pm

September 20th, 2005, 10:27 am #5

We had quite a bit of coverage in London as the new BoB monument was unveiled on Sunday - well worth a visit if you're in town

http://www.bbm.org.uk
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Joined: April 10th, 2004, 8:08 pm

September 20th, 2005, 8:21 pm #6

Kate,
While the lack of any acknowledgement of BoB Day is a travesty, I think what you've described is the net result of the time that has passed since WW2. In today's hustle-bustle world, WW2 is ancient history.

While the BoB was a defining moment (IMO, anyway), it's rapidly receding into history much as other (then) major events have done.

Using the US as example, look at Dec 7 -- Pearl Harbor attack. Another defining moment which received a few seconds commentary at the very end of the evening news last year. Same for VE/VJ day over the past few years. The one notable exception was 2005 -- simply due to it being the 60th anniversary of the end of the war. Next year it will once again be a passing footnote, if mentioned at all.

Depending on your age, the view of WW2 can skew markedly (being in the US, I'm using US history as my example). To someone born in the 1950s/60s, WW2 was the dominating event -- being barely 10-15 years in the past. This war was fought by fathers, uncles, and some grandparents. WW1 was the war of the grandparents -- about 40 years in the past. The Korean War was less than 10 years distant and the looming disaster of Vietnam was just beginning. The US Civil War ended 100 years.

Fast forward to those born in the 1970s/80s. WW2 was fought by this generations grandparents. The war ended 30-40 years previous. Korea was a stalemate eclipsed by the legacy of the "last good war (WW2)" and the debacle of the freshly-ended Vietnam War.

Forward to today. To the youth of today, WW2 looks the same as the Spanish-American War (1898) did to a child in the 1960s. Using the same comparative views, the Korean War appears as WW1. The Vietnam War approximates WW2 and the first Gulf War occupies the place of the Korean War.

Most of us will (hopefully) make it to the 100 year anniversery of WW2. Using the above comparison, the view of the youth of this timeframe will be the same as the view back at the US Civil War or the Franco-Prussian War.

Bloody depressing

On the positive side, reenacting/living history is thriving. As result, the sacrifices of the WW2 generation will continue to be honored and remembered.

So...to return to my previous question - why, in the UK, is the Battle of Trafalgar (1805) supposed to be worth an annual public holiday when the Battle of Britain (which as a historian I would contend was even more significant in a national context) is hardly mentioned?

I suggest that it is the opposite of what you describe. We are now friends with and EU partners of the Germans and Italians, and in a political context that makes it uncomfortable for politicians to celebrate an event that is still within living memory. On the other hand, I suggest that a battle fought 200 years ago has no such connotations. It was fought against a completely different French/Spanish alliance in a dim and distance past with no relevance to today political world. So, we can celebrate.

Fair enough, but it still doesn't make sense to me...
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Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

September 20th, 2005, 9:51 pm #7

If it was a matter of the EU membership, then wouldn't Armistice Day also tend to be largely ignored? The belligerent states were largely unchanged between WW1 and WW2.

What makes a particular event timeless (Trafalgar or Gettysburg(US)) while others (Tobruk or the Somme) remain relatively unknown outside of military historian circles? I have no idea.
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