Sometimes, it's just a cigar

This is our truth, tell us yours

One hundred years ago

One hundred years ago, a war was being fought in France and Belgium, on the Atlantic, in the Middle East and in Russia, and even in part of Africa, that helped shape the world we live in today.

Members of my family fought in that war, as sappers and as stretcher bearers. My grandfathers came home, shaped and changed by the experience.

Countryfile isn’t usually one of my political guides.

Tonight, as I ate my solitary evening meal (a one tin roast of lamb, beetroot and potatoes, in case you wondered) and watched it, I found myself drawn in by the explanation of how people experience the battlefields of World War One now. I could empathize with a presenter standing in a scrapyard, wondering where the pear tree his grandfather was buried under had gone. I could empathize with the French ordnance disposal team who still dig up the shells and bombs left behind by the war their grandparents experienced as it moved back and fore across their homes.

Next time someone queries the fact that the French, the Germans, the Dutch and the Belgians feel differently about the idea of a united Europe, we all need to remember that those fields where anonymous bones and unexploded ordnance are dug up are not just part of the past, but part of how our neighbours live now.

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This entry was posted on November 9, 2014 by in Uncategorized.

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