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Keith Scantlebury

Rememberance Day

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Today is the day that we spend a little time to remember those who gave their lives in the wars of 1914-1918 and 1939-1949 as well as in the many conflicts that our Soldiers Sailors and Airmen ( and their supporting colleagues) have been involved in since and now.

Questions are being asked about the level of support our military personell deserve today. Many query the reason as to why our soldiers etc. are even involved in places such as Afghanistan and Iraq . Those that are there, are there out of choice. Unlike WW1 and WW11, no-one forced them to join up. When they do join up, they are trained in various skills, one of which is warfare. They are trained to fight, they are trained to shoot at people, to kill. They are taught how to minimise the risk of being killed or injured themselves and how to help those who are with them.

For this , they are paid, that is their job, a job , may I add, I would not want, these people deserve every penny that they receive. Take a look at two very different scenario's.

JIMMY SMITH :- aged 21

Jimmy is a soldier he joined up at 16 and is now serving in Afghanistan. Its Friday, 7 am, his last day of duty before he returned home. It is all he can think about. He steps on a IED and he loses his leg. He returns home and is looked after by the military and is still being paid.

JIMMY BROWN :- aged 21

Jimmy is an engineer, he has just completed his apprenticeship that he started at 16, Its Friday 7 am and he is on his way to work. He is thinking about going out with his mates that night. He crosses the road to get a paper, he is knocked down by an uninsured driver, still drunk from the previous night, Jimmy loses a leg. He is looked after by the NHS he is not being paid his wages from work.

Is there any real difference between the two cases. Had it been a case that they were killed, is one case more deserving than the other. They are both someones son, brother, boyfriend.

Both boys were going about their daily lives, a life they chose IS THERE REALLY A DIFFERENCE?

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Yes, there is a major difference. The soldier has signed up and subjected himself to military discipline. He has to do what he's ordered to do and put his life at certain risk. The flip-side of that contract is that the state agrees to do the best by him and his dependents.

The 7am and "still drunk from the previous night" sounds a bit contrived, but taking that as a given there is criminal injuries compensation, also other state benefits available.

Maybe the fact that someone can drive without third party insurance needs looking at, and a little imagination exercised at using modern technology to prevent this. But at the end of the day the state can only go so far in ensuring everyone's safety. There are always going to be murders and murderers, and no amount of rules, regulations, or retribution is going to dissuade some tiny percentage of the population from deliberate or reckless acts of endangerment.

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I have seen a picture of the Tyne Bridge with a wreath of poppies.

Brilliant, hope it is not just a made up picture. (Photo shop)

Is that the modern term?

The poppies in London at the tower look amazing.

Brilliant idea.

One grandson was in a play about the First World War , the finale was all the cast walking to the music of Emili Sande

'Read all About it' then they lay /crouched down and put poppies up above themselves.

The emotions on display in the audience and with the students was very thought provoking.

No one was left in any doubt about the consequences of war any war!

Brave soldiers one and all.

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I usually try to watch the Beeb's coverage of the Remembrance Service from the Cenotaph each year and the march past by the old guys usually brings a tear to my eyes (I've posted elsewhere here about the price my family paid during the two big bunfights with Fritz).  What's particularly poignant is how over the years the old guys are getting fewer and fewer, but still those who are left keep attending; some of the associations are winding-up as so few are left (D-Day Association for example).  Sprightly old Phil the Greek (93) always attends but what on earth is that useless tosser Edward doing there as some sort of Honorary Colonel ... he didn't even get through his military training and was chucked out ... I find it offensive to the memory of those who served.

 

I was outraged that Blair had the nerve to attend ... in many folks eyes, a war criminal.

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As said previously there's a huge difference between the two cases, the soldier has taken an oath to risk his life in defence of the nation and all subjects within it, often for little pay and in difficult circumstances, he is willing and able to put every inch of his being into ensuring his duties are carried out to the highest degree to ensure the safety of the country without question, therefore the nation has a moral duty to ensure his welfare is of the highest order.

As for the engineering apprentice the individual responsible for the reckless act should be held responsible and made to ensure adequate provisions are put in place to give him a level of care that's required as it's the actions of one irresponsible person that has caused his suffering.

For the record the soldier would be medically discharged at some point and would be placed Into the care of the various military charities if he or she so wished.

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