Remembrance Day from both sides of the fence

Since today is Remembrance Day I would like to pay my respects to all those who have lost their lives during wars or armed conflicts. I would also like to acknowledge and pay my respects to all who have been pained by wars.

I grew up in Australia and I had two wonderful Nans who nurtured and loved me always. During World War II they were both teenagers living on opposite sides of the world. They both had different stories to share with me later of the war.

photo courtesy of
photo courtesy of

One of my Nans was displaced from her home in World War II. She had a family member who had to be hidden as they feared for her life and my Nan went through many difficulties as she tried to be accepted as a refugee in other countries but found she was not welcome. She told me first hand stories of both inappropriate and kind behaviour from soldiers in the allied forces.

My other Nan was on the opposite side of the world being frightened as soldiers from a different country entered the city boundaries where she lived. Her brother had been sent to Papua New Guinea to fight, and he never returned. She told me how her mother died soon after and they said it was from a ‘broken heart’ since she lost her son. My Nan lost her brother and her Mum in her teens, I can’t imagine how that felt.

My heart is so hopeful for the day we no longer think wars or armed conflicts are useful or necessary.

The Ode

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

Lest we forget

At 11 am on 11 November 1918 the guns of the Western Front fell silent after more than four years of continuous warfare.

In Flanders Fields – poem by John McCrae 1915

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

For the full poem and its meaning please see wikipedia

photo courtesy of
photo courtesy of

10 thoughts on “Remembrance Day from both sides of the fence

  1. Thank you for sharing your grandmothers’ WWII experiences. My grandfather served on a ship in the Pacific during WWII, but he never liked to talk about his experiences in the war. I am thankful that he came back and raised his children, but so many did not. We celebrate our Veterans Day a bit later in November than your Remembrance Day, and I got to see some pictures of my grandfather during his time of service. He was not smiling in the pictures. There have been many movies and TV shows about WWII — some of them comedies — but it was a heartbreaking time, in reality.


    1. Thank you Sandi. My grandmothers’ didn’t talk much about it either (or other things in our family history) different generations are brought up differently I guess.
      Thanks for sharing about your grandfather, and I agree about the movies, they do not always show the reality of war.


      1. A fairly recent docudrama, The Pacific, tried to give a more realistic portrayal of the war. It’s about American Marines fighting in the Pacific, but they spend some time in Australia. Because it’s realistic, the language is also realistic (lots of bad language, in other words), but it was fascinating — and hard to watch at times.


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