Remembering others

November 15, 2005 ,

PART of an MP’s duties is to attend public events like the Remembrance Day Service, held on the first Sunday after the 11th November.

It was extremely moving at Cathays Park for the ceremony commemorating those who fell in the two World Wars of the last century, and in other conflicts including Iraq.

The Armistice bringing an end to the First World War was signed in a railway carriage in a clearing in the woods near Compiègne in Northern France.

It is now a museum which I visited some years ago.
Whilst there is plenty of information about the Armistice which was declared on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918, there is no trace of a later event.

In 1940, in a calculated act of revenge against the French, Hitler insisted that their surrender be in the same carriage at the same spot.
It is not something the French care to acknowledge in the museum there.

Thousands of those who fought and died in those wars came from what was then the Empire, including India and Pakistan.

The day before Remembrance Sunday I attended a memorial event, held at the National Museum, for the victims of the recent South Asia earthquake.

The local Pakistani community want to raise funds to build a new village for some of those who have lost their homes, and they want to call it Cardiff.

It shows the pride that our local Pakistani community have in our city that they want to do this.
Both events were a reminder of the cruelty of nature and mankind, but also demonstrate the more generous side of human nature, remembering the victims of war and natural disaster, and our desire to help them.