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A ‘thing’ about memorials and Acts of Remembrance

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Hold up! Before you read on, please read this...

This post was published more than 12 years ago

I keep old posts on the site because I often enjoy reading old content on other people's sites. Not everything that is old is bad. It can be interesting to see how views have changed over time: for example, how my strident teenage views have mellowed and matured.

But given the age of this post, please bear in mind:

  • My views might very well have changed in the 12 years since I wrote this post. I have written some very silly things over the years, many of which I find pretty embarrassing today.
  • This post might use language in ways which I would now consider highly inappropriate or offensive.
  • Factual information might be outdated.
  • Links might be broken; embedded material might not appear properly.

Okay. Consider yourself duly warned. Read on...

Last week, we had a memorial service for those killed in the London bombings. Today is Remembrance Sunday, where we remember those killed at war. And next week, there’s probably some other memorial service for people killed in another horrific tragedy. And all of these kinds of events make me feel the same way: If I died in some extraordinary fashion, I wouldn’t want to be remembered at these services.

There are very few things I can think of which are more depressing than the thought of being remembered for your death, rather than for your life. How many of those killed in the London bombings would want to be remembered as the person killed in a terrorist attack? How many more would prefer to be remembered for the happiness they brought to their family, and the good they did with their lives?

How many servicemen killed in battle would want to be remembered for enduring the worst possible conditions, far from home, only to die in unimaginable pain at the hands of the enemy? How many more would prefer to be remembered for the time they spent with their families, friends, and colleagues before being forced to fight for their country?

When the time comes, if some great atrocity carries me off, if I’m lucky enough to be remembered then please put the end to the back of your mind, and remember my life before you remember my death.

This 760th post was filed under: Headliner.

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Review: Inflight Science by Brian Clegg (published 8th August 2012)

Photo-a-day 327: Christmas hat (published 23rd November 2012)

Review: Living with Teenagers (published 17th October 2012)

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