• The man is not for mourning.


    This morning – if the BBC is to be taken as one’s moral compass – at the eleventh hour I did a very, very bad thing: I did not stand in silence for two minutes.

    I was not around on that Happy Day: Tuesday 8th May 1945.

    My parents were however.

    For them, the Second World War – known and referred to by both as “the war” – was the single most influential factor in their lives. Mum was born on Monday 10th January 1921.

    I am not Jewish but I must admit to a secret: The Orthodox Jewish prayer, “Shelo Asani Isha” (“Blessed are you Lord… for not making me a woman”) strikes a cord with me!

    Don’t get me wrong: I like women! To coin a phrase, “some of my best friends are women!”

    I’m just glad I am not one.


    For “Mum”, being born a girl in the West Riding of the County of Yorkshire on Monday 10th January 1921, was an astute move! For being born a boy on that day would not have been a move to be recommended!

    However, we digress. Getting back to the script, both “Dad” and “Mum” – separately as they had not met at that point in their lives – although (to digress yet again) by strange happen-stance, my Cornish father was living in Farnborough at the time and “Mum” was living in Byfeet – both vividly recalled that Happy Day and I can tell you (second hand) that there was an awful lot of raucous celebration going on!

    Therefore, I did NOT stand in solemn silence at 11AM today. That quite frankly was inappropriate. There are two times for remembering the fallen: For those who attend church services: Remembrance Sunday. For those who do not: the 11th November.

    Today should have been a time of celebration not of sombre reflection.

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