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Remembrance Day mockery

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Fri, Nov 2, 2012

Editor: Passing by the cenotaph (iron man) one afternoon, I saw these two little boys riding one of the cannons like a see-saw.{{more}} I was surprised to see it moving because I thought the cannons were seized up with rust, being as old as they are. I told the children to get off the cannon and come out of the enclosure and explained the significance of the memorial. They climbed off the cannon, but refused to leave the compound; instead they were walking around picking the flowers. I moved on and before I could reach the end of the enclosure, I heard a cry of pain.

They had climbed back on the cannon and one of the boys had gotten his foot trapped between the back of the bore (cylindrical part) and the mount (base).His partner at the front end, not knowing better, instead of pressing down to raise the back end had jumped off and the full weight of the cannon was therefore on the other boy’s foot. Being a full believer of “who can’t hear will feel”, I stood there watching without offering any assistance, and the loose boy finally pushed down his end of the cannon and freed his partner. They then both left the compound.

I lament the depths to which that memorial has fallen. I can remember the solemn parades and ceremonies that were performed around its triangular enclosure while it was located between the Hillsboro Streets; but ever since it was moved to the back of the market it has lost its prominence and respect. For years, it has shown evidence of vandalism, with splashes of J’Ouvert paint marring its pillar and the fact that the persons conducting the small memorial service each ‘Remembrance Day’ and those who maintain the enclosure have not seen it fit to have it cleaned is just another example of its low status.

The public needs to be re-educated as to the historical significance of the cenotaph. Apart from being taught in schools, one way it could be brought back into prominence is by televising the Memorial Day parade, which is much shorter than the Independence Day parade. With a televised parade, enhanced by historical commentary, I believe Vincentians will once again appreciate the significance of that symbol and not deface it or treat it like a toy.

Lisa

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