Yesterday, 8th November 2020, was Remembrance Sunday. The annual remembrance connected to the anniversary of Armistice Day (11th November 1918). Many acts of remembrance were done privately and collectively (albeit scaled back or virtually) to remember and honour all the people who have died in wars – not just World War One: World War Two, the Falklands War, the Gulf War, and conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq.
As well as it being Remembrance Sunday yesterday, my family were remembering my Aunty Rhoda, who passed away suddenly a year ago on the 8th of November 2019. We met together over zoom and remembered and celebrated her through our shared memories, laughter and some tears.
Earlier in the day I was pondering posting something as my individual act of remembrance, and that’s when I remembered the above photo. It was my way of finally saying goodbye. Something, that although having been at the Thanksgiving Service more than a week prior, I had not yet done.
It was actually inspired by an Armistice Day Centenary remembrance Pages of the Sea from 2018. Portraits of individuals from the First World War were imprinted into the sand on a number of beaches around the UK; then as the tide rose they washed away and those on the beach took a moment to say a collective thank you and goodbye. A poignant and beautiful moment for those communities then, and for myself on that beach in Doha last year.
Interestingly, it is only on writing this post that I have realised I said my ‘goodbye’ exactly one month to the day after my Aunty Rhoda passed away.
Acts of remembrance are important. Both to honour and continue to remember the immense sacrifices of those who have gone before. Additionally to ensure we who remain apply and build on what we have learnt from their legacies. They can also be a needed balm and medicine for our own souls, as we can sow some joy amoung the sorrow.
I honour you my Aunty, although I have said farewell, you are forever in my heart x
The significant–often untold–role of Black Soilders in WW1 & WW2
- How Black Soldiers Helped Britain in First World War courtesy of Black History Month UK
- African Caribbean Soldiers in WW1 & WW2 courtesy of @BlackYouthExcellence