Scottish Veterans

Two Scottish Veterans in Buchanan Street, Glasgow

It is American Memorial Day on Monday 27th May to remember and honor those American servicemen who died while defending our country.  There are similar events all over the world.  In Britain we remember those fallen on the 11th day of the 11th month every year.

As an American I have so many ancestors who have fought and died for our country from the American Revolutionary War to the Civil War.  There may be others that I have yet to find.  As an American who was brought up in Scotland, I would like to pay tribute to four charming gentleman who I met on my sad trip to Scotland.

I mentioned the descriptive words disconnection, connection, familiarity and alienation in my last post.  So contradictory yet accurate.  As I walked towards my lunch date with school friends from yesteryear, I encountered various gentlemen in full military regalia.  I approached the first two and asked them if I could take their photograph.  They looked perplexed but pleased and I explained about my blog.

As I left the second group of servicemen, I thanked them for both their service and the photograph.  They looked at me as though I was a very friendly alien.  With my little blue passport and my transatlantic twang – that is exactly the right description.

Let us be thankful for all those who have given their lives in defense of their country.

 

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Remembrance Day 2016

Respect, kindness, love

Respect, kindness, love

I have been traveling immediately after the recent election so have been blissfully unaware of the fall out. I do feel fear because loose talk is dangerous in this volatile world. Diplomacy is so underrated and yet probably saves hundreds of thousands of lives. Sometimes on this day, I remember an ancestor who fought in wars. My great great grandfather was a Civil War medic on the Confederate side – I can only imagine how awful his job was. My father in law spent the whole war in a prisoner of war camp in eastern Germany.

This week we need to focus on the future and being optimistic. We were living in Cairo when the second Gulf War broke out. I had a lovely neighbor, an elderly Egyptian man who walked to the mosque in his pajamas every day. He always greeted me warmly in Arabic which I returned with a smile. A couple of days after the war broke out with dire warnings about weapons of mass destruction (‘loose talk’?) and Koranic music came blasting out of the old man’s house, directly across from ours. I was outraged that this nice old man could be mean to the westerners in the street – especially ME!

After a day of tears and indignation, I realized that the old man had died and this was normal for an Egyptian wake/funeral. Gosh, I felt bad and stupid, in my deplorable basket villa…🏡 I lit some candles in Tulsa, Oklahoma this week and one of them was for him and all the fallen. My father in law was a Pacifist despite his experience and never hated the German people. He probably even forgave his captors as he was a religious man.

Let’s hope and pray that our military are used for defense and not for an unnecessary war. Having said that, I wish that NATO would help Syria and Iraq. Those poor people did not deserve this. I received great kindness and respect in the Muslim world, from North Africa to the Middle East and the Far East. If I can live in a third world country in the middle of an unnecessary war, then I am sure that we can all move forward in the spirit of forgiveness and peace.☮🗽☪