Inspiration Lifestyle

Pages of the Sea

7th November 2018

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1. have in or be able to bring to one’s mind an awareness of (someone or something from the past).

At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we shall remember them.

The voice of the sea whispers, speaks tales of times gone by. The waves embrace the shore for it knows how it grieves. Those footprints are no more, taken by the tide to unknown lands, with their own courage great enough to lose sight of the shore.

For the shore shares with us, the silence that comes after the storm, unspoken moments of contemplation, those memories that will never fade for those who gave and shared themselves so selflessly to allow us our freedom.

I remember. I remember looking up, this ominous green figure looming above me. I held on tighter to the familiar hand of my grandad, my hand seemed so small in his, but never the less so safe, and asked him why. Why does this green man stand here, Grandad? And he told me again, of how this man stands so we remember the fallen soldiers of years gone by. Our walk continued as I listened intently to the tales of heroes, near-misses and loss.

November the 11th 2018 marks one hundred years since arms were laid to rest and the First World War ended. One hundred years since men and women like you and I, made the ultimate sacrifice for the good of future generations. I find that sacrifice they made is almost incomprehensible to many of us and it undoubtedly deserves at least one day of poignant reflection and appreciation. I can’t even begin to imagine leaving behind my loved ones, my home, my life as I knew it, knowing that I was unlikely to return. I imagine what is no more than young boy, someone’s baby boy, nose red from the biting sea air, his young tummy churning with thoughts of what is to come, staring endlessly at a single photo that he stashes away safely in his breast pocket. A tiny piece of home; a tiny glimmer of hope. I have no doubt that even my thoughts are glamourised, polished by Hollywood portrayals. I have no idea of the true harrows, the pain and labour and this is exactly why it is so important that we remember them. Our boys, girls, mums, dads, grandparents, brothers, sisters, friends – let’s never lose that human connection and our ultimate appreciation for them and their selfless devotion to their future generations. 

Legendary film director Danny Boyle invites you and I to the beaches of the North East to share together in moments of reflection, take in the unmistakable scenery, feel the sea breeze in your hair and listen to the gentle crashing of the waves as the faces of fallen local soldiers are etched into the low tide shore. Watch thoughtfully as almost poetically, the etching of our fallen soldier is washed away as the tide begins to envelops the beach at 2.30pm.

Pages of the Sea will take place this coming Sunday 11th November at both Redcar Beach, North Yorkshire and Roker Beach, Sunderland. Each event will be sure to be emotive, inspiring and perfectly poetic. For we have never forgotten and never will forget those fellow humans who laid down their life for the rest of humanity. Poet Carol Ann Duffy has produced the most moving poem for the occasion which can be listened to through headphones whilst the event takes place. You are also invited to contribute your own etching, commemorating one of the many, many lost lives.

You can find full details of each of the events below. There is so much to get involved with and it’s sure to be a salute and thank you to those who’s lives were forever changed by the First World War.

Roker Beach – Roker Facebook event page
Redcar Beach – Redcar Facebook event page

We are also invited to visit the online gallery of portraits of men and women who served in the First World War. Perhaps there is a loved one you would like to pay a personal tribute to. You can even add your own image to the collection.

*This post was created in collaboration with Sunderland Culture, but all words and photos are my own.

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