CIVIC PARADE: Service was not suitable

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What a great pity that the civic 2018 centenary memorial Armistice service, held around the world at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month to commemorate the fallen in the Great War 1914/18, and for those who gave their lives since in the service of this country, should not be conveniently suitable for those who organised and took part in a service and civic parade four hours later in Alnwick.

Those in the sizeable crowd who assembled at the Alnwick war memorial at the appropriate and recognised time of 11am to pay their respects were, like me, dumbfounded and angry as to why the 2018 centenary civic parade should take place at 3pm, some four hours later.

The general consensus from many attending the morning ceremony at 11am was, again like me, of disgust, dismay, disrespect and disapproval that those responsible should choose to hold their own service and parade at 3pm to suit their own selfish, personal and/or political needs for their own convenience.

Personally, I feel this pitiful and selfish arrangement is way beyond any degree of reasonableness and simply cannot be swept under the carpet by those responsible.

It is clearly disloyal, disdainful and diabolical, to use a just a few more well chosen superlatives, to all those named on the Alnwick war memorial and which simply cannot be excused for Sunday 11/11/18 nor condoned again in future.

To add insult to injury, no reporter, from wherever, was present at the appropriate 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month yet, no doubt, a full report with pictures will be published of the ensuing 3pm civic parade through Alnwick.

If only those ‘three lads’ atop the Alnwick war memorial could have their say, I have no doubt that they would tell us that ‘to have been four hours late, even four minutes, for anything during our active service would have resulted in a court martial or being shot and we may not have won the war’.

I can only ask again: What gives these organising officials, elected or otherwise, the right to change an internationally-recognised event with fixed date and time, established the world over, to suit their own selfish, personal and or political needs? Lest we forget. Maybe we won’t come election time.

The people of Alnwick, and also for those named on the Alnwick war memorial deserve much, much better.

Ernie Gordon,

Alnwick resident.

Editor’s comment: All members of the Gazette editorial team were at a war memorial at 11am on November 11. Unfortunately, we cannot be everywhere at the same time.