If you read the original Inkyworld blog you may remember two posts I put on there with a "Rememberance Day" theme. One of which was about my trip to the pre-Second World War Capital of the Dutch Jews - Groningen - on the day of the Dutch EU Referendum. The other one was about my Mum's habit of thanking every British and American Second World War Veteran she met. This post was partially sparked off by something I saw on YouTube (which I will explain in a minute) but also by one of my friends who went on a trip to Cyprus and visited some Military schools. These were given a bitter-sweet flavour by some other news reports I read and saw on television. (I just hope it all makes sense at the end.)
You could say I grew up with a slightly different view of the Second World War to most English people - after all England only has "Rememberance Sunday" when they remember their war dead. They have never heard of "Bevrijdingsdag" (or "Liberation Day") unless they happened to be part of it.
Yes, Yes, I know - the English were so proud of "Operation Market Garden" that they made a film about it - "Dambusters" I think it was called. Unfortunately, that would appear to be where modern day English knowledge of the Dutch experience of the Second World War ends. Sorry - I forgot about the Diary of Anne Frank for a minute. After that there appears to be a gap.
I have two relatives who experienced the Second World War in slightly different ways - One of my Dad's uncles was posted in India and one of my Mum's uncles somehow ended up in a Prisoner of War camp.
Just to go off the topic for a minute - at my Oma's funeral an elderly lady (who obviously knew who I was even though I had no memory of ever meeting her - and I haven't seen her since) informed me that she had been with Oma on Liberation Day. I would have loved to have heard more about it.
A few weeks ago I was looking on YouTube and I found a video which struck a chord with me. It also flipped "Rememberance Day" on its head. www.youtube.com/watch
For those of you who cannot speak Dutch (which I assume would be most of you) here now follows a quick explanation;
Yasmin and Abby (the two girls in the video) are the children of a man serving in the Dutch Military in Sudan. The dance they do starts off with one of them waving their Dad off whilst the other one comforts her.
The video struck a chord with me because we are always taught about the sacrifice (voluntary or conscripted) of the soldiers who died serving their countries and how we should be grateful to them - but their children are never mentioned.
Let's face it - in most cases (apart from conscription as in during the Second World War) adults voluntarily sign up to go into Military service. Children who are born to serving Military personnel do not have a choice as to whether or not their parents are posted to their friendly neighbourhood warzone.
Children always seem to be the ones who pay the greatest price in war but they are also the least recognised for it. Whether or not their parents serve in the Military - or if they are merely civilians who are killed in the crossfire - the children still lose part of their innocence as a result. That is before you start to think about the "child soldiers" in various parts of the world.
We are asked to remember the sacrifices of the fallen on "Rememberance Day" - maybe we should also remember the children they left behind and support them.
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