Friday, November 10

Memorial Gates Click for more info

I was invited to attend a ceremony to commemorate the Memorial Gates down on Constitution Hill. This is only across the road from where I work so I thought it would be worth checking out without taking too much time away from my desk.

It was smaller than I thought it would be. There were around 250-300 people there, and the formal ceremony lasted for around thirty minutes (although I seem to have missed the minute silence at 11am).

Otherwise it was as expected, with Baroness Flather, Lord Bilmoria and The Bishop of London all briefly speaking followed by bugles and bagpipes as the more important people laid their wreaths. It was a sombre affair. Pictures are on Picasa (or should be soon).

One thing the Baroness said struck a chord though. She mentioned how it was a shame that those in the sub-continent, for whom this memorial was really for, didn't really feel a need to recognise it; most probably didn't even know about the contribution made by the millions from their lands.

I guess I'm lucky in that I actually knew about the memorial and had visited it in the past - purely by luck mind, and only 'cos it's on the way to and from the mosque I go to pray Jummah in. But then, it isn't the first thing I suggest visitors from Pakistan and India to go and see, and I can't say I've ever told friends and family about it either.

So I guess that's what I'm doing now by writing this article. If you're in London and happen to be passing though the Hyde Park Corner area, how about taking five minutes (since it won't take much more than that) to check it out? I'm not guaranteeing emotion and I don't even saying that you have to reflect or anything, but it's not really something that takes much effort to do.

I'm the last person to ask about the Indian contribution to The Second World War, but regardless of my ignorance it is hard not to appreciate what the memorial is trying to symbolise.

1 comment:

  1. I thought the minute silence was on saturday?