Wednesday, 11 November 2009
The Eleventh Hour
Another learning curve.
In Harrogate we have one of the largest army training colleges in the country, 16 and 17 year olds come to learn "how to be soldiers". For most of them it is the first time they are away from home and the first time they have money in their pockets. In the town we are always aware when they have pass out weekends. The centre is heaving with wiry youths with regulation hair cuts lurking around McDonalds and the night clubs. Some of them look utterly lost, others already have a swagger that is noticed, and admired, by the young ladies of North Yorkshire.
Today was different, they were in town for the Remembrance Ceremony. Not youths but young men, wearing immaculate uniforms, a huge pride in themselves and their futures. An awareness of what their predecessors had given and what they may be asked to give.
Any of the soldiers I saw today could be a casualty of war in the next twelve months. Let's pray not.