Monday, November 11, 2013

Thankfulness Day 11 - Lest We Forget

Today I am thanking God:

- that we still stop to remember all those who fought for our freedom even 95 years after the first armistice;

Frederick John Kelly
4/1/1897 - 26/12/1998

- for my Grandfather and his brother who fought at Gallipoli and on the Western Front in World War 1, his younger brother who was imprisoned in Changi in WW2 and his eldest son who was killed in New Guinea in WW2;

- that our school observes Remembrance Day ensuring that future generations will also remember;

- that Emma could take our Last Anzacs book to school and have her teacher read to the class about her Great Grandfather;

- for the Commonwealth War Graves commission for seeking to give every Commonwealth solder a final resting place;

- for the War Graves Photographic Project that allowed me to find a photo of my Great Uncle's grave in New Guinea.  No one from our family has ever been - or will likely ever go there - so this link is amazing.  I haven't shown it to my Mum or Aunty's yet - he was their big brother - I am sure they will be glad he at least has this resting place;

John Leonard Kelly
Age 22
- for the freedoms we enjoy in Australia as a result;

- for the close relationship I had with my Grandfather even though he was already 75 when I was born (and almost 102 when he died);

I don't remember my Grandfather describing what is was like on the first Armistice Day.  He was there - fighting in Europe - lucky to be alive.  I can't even begin to imagine the relief that it was all finally over - and yet also the sadness over the monumental loss of life.  Our family was just one of so many Australian families touched by the wars of the last century.  So many family members who didn't come home or who were never the same on their return.

Lest we forget.


tesyaa said...

This is a great post. It's called Veterans Day here in the States. My dad is a WW2 veteran and it's a dwindling group. I myself am pathetically excited about Veterans Day because most government offices are closed, so there will be little traffic and my drive to work will be really quick.

Julie C said...

Day 11 : Today I thankful for - Andrews grandfather Maxwell Giles Cottam who was in the Royal Australian Air Force in WWI and was so fortunate to return home after being shot down while flying a Moth plane. I am thankful that I can sit at this computer and look at photos of him in his uniform and his plane that were framed by a family member. I am thankful for Als blog that has now inspired me to create another frame with information about his time during the war so his great grand children can read about and understand what the photos mean to them and Australia. I am thankful that my own grandfather did not have to go to war as he was a primary producer growing fruit to provide for all those back home. I am thankful for the sacrifice of his mothers brothers or may great uncles as they did not return from war. I am thankful for the inspiration now to find out more about their war history and my family tree obsessed sister who may be able to help with this search. I am thankful for the bugle that sounded as I was putting washing on to remind me to stop and reflect for a moment. I am thankful that my children and I live our lives free from the immediate horror of war in our own country. Julie C ps I am thankful for your blog Al as this challenge really is changing me because I was going to be thankful for the rain today - but that can wait- there are more significant things right in front of me.