posted on Jul, 18 2009 @ 11:29 AM
RIP Henry Allingham.
I believe it was Henry or it may have been Harry Patch who a few years ago went to France and had dinner with the oldest WW1 German veteran. It was a
moving moment, tears could be seen in their eyes, and I think the German said "Oh why did we have to have a war!" in the most saddest voice
In a way, it's scary that the Generations that lived through WW1 and WW2 will soon all be gone. I tend to think that with their testaments of their
experiences, what they have seen, what they experienced is a warning to us all, and to anyone who willingly habours for war.
People like my Grandmother for instance. During WW2, she stayed in London during the Blitz as the majority of Londoners did, and watched on as the
Luftwaffe waged a campaign to raze London to the ground. She tells of the time when she was in the cinema with her friends watching a film, and the
film was interrupted by the Cinema's manager who informed the audience that "That man is here again, those who want to go the shelters, do so, those
who want to stay can stay".
'That Man' was Hitler and his Luftwaffe.
They stayed in the Cinema because they believed "if your name is on it (the bomb) it does not matter where you are."
My Grandmother, sixty-three years later, wrote to a national newspaper to protest against The Iraq War because she did not want people to go through
what she went through in the Blitz, the bombings, the loss of relatives and friends.
I had a Grandfather who fought in the air defence of Coventry, part of a unit firing Anti-Aircraft Artillery at so many Luftwaffe flying over head
that the Ack-Acks ran out of ammo, at which point they 'fired' without ammo, so that they would keep their morale up, a symbolic gesture of
I had a Great-Uncle who fought at North Africa, saw El Alamein, another Great-Uncle who was in the fire brigade tackling the Blitz fires of London,
and another Great-Uncle who was in the Merchant Navy.
Only my Merchant Navy Uncle and my Grandmother remain.
Age will claim them, and dementia is attempting to conquer my Grandmother, but they both resist bravely.
They were on this earth when the Mussolini rose to power in Italy and Hitler rose to power in Germany and waged war on Europe.
They were on this earth when The Miracle of Dunkirk occured, when The Battle of Britain raged, when The Desert Rats went up against The Afrika Corps
across the parched hot dunes of Africa, and when the bloodiest battle in history raged at Stalingrad as The Red Army and The German Army fought to the
death, when the Japanese attacked Pearl Habour, when, the German Army marched into France, the low countries and the majority of Europe, in a time of
Holocaust, in a time when Normandy was stormed, when Berlin fell, when Nagasaki and Hiroshima were atom bombed.
They lived in a time, a time we can only imagine of and see in documentaries and films and read about.
They watched over our Parents, and then watched over us, they had seen a world war and were our Guardians, knowing the signs to look out for any Third
This Golden Generation, when they are gone, will not be there anymore, to warn us of repeating the mistakes of the past, or warn us that history is
repeating itself. They will be gone, having "done their bit"
We live in a time now of having leaders and politicians of a generation who have no experience of a world war and how horrific it is, and have not
concern but ambition in their hearts.
Does that not worry you a little?
It does me.
I knew an old veteran of WW1 and WW2 years ago who has sadly since passed on some years ago. I asked him one afternoon when he was still alive did he
think WW2 could happen again, based on any signs he saw today that he also saw before WW2.
He was quiet for a long time, then looking into my eyes he said, his face serious:
"China, they are the ones to watch."
They are the Golden Generation, our warners, our reminders of times that must not be repeated. When the last witness of WW2 dies is when we lose
something and where the world gets more dangerous.