We Will Remember Them

We have watched in awe, all the different events being held to mark the centenary of the end of the Great War leading up to the actual signing of the Armistice. The BBC’s live coverage of the ceremony in Paris yesterday, moved seamlessly over the Channel to show the laying of the wreaths at the Cenotaph, so beautifully done, it made you feel you were right there. Sitting in our living room, we got the best views possible courtesy of some excellent camera work.

This afternoon, thanks to the wonders of YouTube modern media, we were also able to watch the Festival of Remembrance which was held at the Royal Albert Hall the previous night. It was an hour-long event which brought together all aspects of the armed forces, led by the Queen herself. We watched military bands march up and down, playing their instruments, artists performing songs from the era as well as newer songs describing the devastation and painful consequence of war.  Actors recited poetry and read letters and accounts of soldier’s experiences, memories and future hope. The whole celebration was extremely moving and sensitively portrayed with absolute precision.

But what really made it so striking and brought it all home was the personal accounts that people shared of their own family. The climax was reached when everyone in the audience, including Teresa May, held up a photograph of a loved one who had served not just in World War I, but in subsequent wars as well. They had all come prepared. Seeing a face and hearing a story changed everything, These first-hand accounts of ordinary people afforded a real insight into what happened, and serve to help us understand the upheaval and suffering of ordinary people, but most importantly, how they survived despite their grief and  loss.  

How does this all tie in with The Graffiti Wall? I think that would be stating the obvious. Your stories need to be told so we can collect real memories and experiences of real people who lived and worked here in Dubai and helped in the building of what we see around us and within the community, and there’s no time like the present to start writing it down.

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