Sunday, November 08, 2009

Remember, Remember

So tis November. A month which gives us a chance to pause and reflect on things past/passed. Last week we had Guy Fawkes night...

'Remember Remember the 5th of November
Gunpowder Treason and plot
I see no reason why gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot'

Apparently this rhyme came about only one year after Guy Fawkes attempted to blow up the Houses of Parliament. From 1606, it became an annual custom for the King to commission a sermon commemorating the event. It serves as a warning to each new generation that treason will never be forgotten.

I am not quite sure what happens re the sermon nowadays, but there is no chance of forgetting the event as year-on-year there are thousands of bonfire and fireworks displays across the UK on or around the 5th November.

On Saturday I could hear loads of fireworks going off outside. I didn't go to watch any, but I did have a chocolate covered apple (as opposed to a toffee apple!) as my own mini-remembrance.
I have discovered that the main reason for having toffee apples (candy apples in America) is simply because the festival falls at the time of the annual apple harvest. They are generally more popularly eaten at Guy Fawkes night in the UK, as opposed to Hallowe'en which is the week before.

And then today of course is another very special day for remembering. It is Armistice Day on 11th November - on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month we commemorate and remember when warring countries agreed to cease fighting in the 1st World War. More generally, it is Remembrance Sunday (the 2nd Sunday of November) when many across the world may pause to remember the lives that have fallen and been sacrificed during all wars.

Many show their remembrance wearing a poppy - and purchasing one gives financial aid to injured soldiers, their families and the families of soldiers who have died.

Therefore in this blog posting I remember these things that are part of my culture and history.
I also remember to think of the NOW. The word remember to me essentially means to 're-memorise'.
The English word Memory comes from the Latin 'Memor', which according to my 'Dictionary of Word Origins' means Mindful.
So we can all be mindful of our past/what has passed, but also be mindful of what is before us the present. Let us not forget that either!
Til next time..... (whenever that may be)!

1 comment:

Cheshire Sett said...

Interesting post! On 11th Nov I observed the 2 minutes silence in our local supermarket, led by very ancient veterans of World War 2. They had been members of the Para's, wearing burgundy berets with wing badges. This reminded me of my cousin Bertie who was a Para and who parachuted into France for the Normandy landings. The wind & weather carried him & his mates into the wrong area & they were rescued & hidden in a barn by a 16 year old young farmer. Many years later, his bravery was rewarded by the French authorities, but he was so young and took big risks. Sadly, Bertie was shot by a sniper along the Rhine months before the war ended. Although I never met him - he died before I was born - I was able to remember him standing by my shopping trolley.