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Previous | Next :: Remembrance Sunday : Blue Beach Cemetery : Falkland Islands | November 8, 2009, 7:04 pm

Remembrance Sunday : Blue Beach Cemetery : Falkland Islands
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Its remembrance Sunday here in Britain. The Queen leads the official remembrance of the sacrifice of the fallen.

The service and bravery of all those who serve is honored and the sacrifice of those who are wounded and still suffer now is remembered as is the loss and suffering of grieving service families.

The service revolves primarily around remembrance of the fallen. It is a ritual that is repeated annually. When I was a kid it was always primarily about remembering the fallen from the two world wars. Particularly it seemed to me they concentrated on remembering soldiers that died in the Second World War struggle against the Nazis. Now the living link to soldiers from the First World War is broken and even the Second World War Veterans are becoming fewer. But sadly the current remembrance services get to remember soldiers who have died in the right up to date conflicts of Iraq and Afghanistan.

Today another British soldier died in Afghanistan bringing the death toll amongst the British that have been deployed there up to 232. Over 90 soldiers have died this year alone ...... the greatest number of British Servicemen to die on active service in one year since the Falklands War.

As we in Britain remember our British dead and those that fought with us against totalitarianism ................ I guess this picture above is not strictly correct today............ but here it is anyway........ as I remember this moment being one of the most moving acts of remembrance i have ever seen ....... At the sad graveyard of some soldiers who fought against Britain........ in The Falklands War if you are British ...... The Malvinas War if you are Argentinean.

I wrote this about this image previously:

"The image above is of Ken ........ Ken Lukowiak my old friend........ Paratrooper and writer.......... poet and fighter....... crazy drinker........ absolutely decent man.......... fiercely loyal true friend........ here he is returning to the Falkland Islands 15 years after the war ........ he had been a member of 2 Para and had fought with his unit to retake the islands from the occupying Argentinean forces sent by their Military Junta ......... 2 Para had fought desperate actions in the darkness and watched their friends suffer and die........ they had rewritten the tactics manuals........ and come through victorious ......... but at a heavy cost to themselves and with even greater cost in lives to their enemy. Here 15 years after the battles were over Ken stands in respect at Blue Beach Cemetery where the Argentinean conscript soldiers who died in those battles are buried. Some young Falklands kids who had driven us out to this lonely place played music and chatted by their Land Rovers as if they had no thought of what this place was. Ken angrily shouted at them to show respect "did they have no idea how many men were buried here?"....... "Not enough!"...... one joked back...... Ken exploded "You might not think that if you had to put them here yourself!" he shouted........Then they were silent........ Ken returned to his contemplation and his respectful visit to each grave.... he read their names but did not know the ones he had personally killed. This was as important a trip for the ex soldier as to the graves of his friends, comrades and commanders. It was important it should be done properly and with respect. The light broke through the sky beyond, I tried to make photographs that befitted this moment. Very few if any of the British soldiers that fought here ever had the chance to return and walk these battlefields or pay their respects at the graves of the fallen. These desolate graves are kept immaculate but rarely ever visited. The government of Argentina refused to have the bodies repatriated as for them these men are of course already buried in Argentinean soil."

Cheers Jez XX

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