Friday, 10 July 2009

Tears for strangers

As I sit here this morning I feel a deep sadness, I've shed a tear for strangers again today (seems to have happened a few times over the last week or so) as The Daily Mail and subsequently the morning news programs tell the story of Private Robbie Laws and Private Danny Eaglesfield, two 18 year old boys serving in Afghanistan. Robbie was killed by a Rocket Propelled Grenade and Danny injured; Robbie's coffin has been flown back to the UK along with 4 other soldiers who died in action this week.

They will be flown back into the UK and the good people of Wootton Bassett will line the streets, again, to honour the dead. I was driving up the A1 a few months ago and followed a hearse with a Union Jack draped coffin for a few miles, my heart sank.

Maybe it's because I am getting older, I am now old enough to be both Danny and Robbie's mum; maybe I'm just emotional and soft - but I find these losses so very very sad. I know that it is a war (I am not going to talk about the sanity of a war to stop war or whether the fight in Afghanistan is really a war on terror) and in a war there are casualties. Men and women, sons and brothers, daughter and sisters, fathers and mothers are dying and it's sad - no more no less.

So I join the people of Wootton Bassett and honour the fallen; I do not know these people or their families but send them my condolences.

Time to dry my tears and count my blessings and choose to live my life to the full.

EDIT - BBC news report the repatriation of Pte Robert Laws; L/Cpl David Dennis; L/Cpl Dane Elson; Cpt Ben Babbington-Browne; Pts Christopher Whiteside - as a good friend of mine says' "we will remember". RIP.

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