Today is Armistice Day in the UK and people have been remembering the fallen of so many conflicts. This writer tries to spare a thought for all the war dead not just those who died on Battlefields. During the Second World War, for example, in the UK many citizens lost their lives during the Blitz. Civilians worked in munitions factories and died as a result. As part of the war effort all had to "do their bit".
The two minutes silence at 11 am on November 11, is a good time to remember those who died as a result of conflict. Not to glorify the dead, as this can lead to an unrealistic view of wars and the military. Rather remembering to follow Churchill's "Lest we forget".
Remembering the cost of war in terms of lost lives so that we do not hastily go to war again. With so many conflicts around the world right now the message is obviously unheeded,
At Cenotaphs around the UK today, and on Sunday, Remembrance Day, respect is the keyword. We show our respect. In London 170 EDL supporters were arrested in Whitehall to prevent them disrupting services.
Home Secretary Theresa May expected trouble from Muslims Against Crusades. Last year they had caused a fury by burning poppies on Armistice Day. From Midnight November 10, 2011, Muslims Against Crusades joined a list of other organisations banned in the UK.
The EDL, English Defence League is not on any such list. Not yet that is.
Wreaths were laid at the Cenotpah in Whitehall and services and a two-minutes silence were held before the trouble began. Two hours later there were reports of arrests. The far right English Defence League reportedly they clashed with Muslims Against Crusades.How.ever later reports indicated that no clashes had begun.
The 170 plus arrested are believed to be from the EDL. They were apprehended outside of a Pub near to the Cenotaph. Initially the EDL planned to be in the area to confront MAC. With that organisation banned they claim to have decided to simply visit the Cenotaph and pay their respects. Police intelligence however suggested that problems could arise and so preemptive action was taken.
In true 21st Century style the EDL posted their update on Facebook. It said police were, "taking patriots out of pubs in tens and nicking them for breach of peace".