Today, on Rememberance Sunday, I watched the Queen paying tribute to the UK’s war dead of World Wars One and Two and later conflicts. We all know the Her Majesty has inherited extraordinary genes from her mother, but still, I was amazed how this 89 year old lady walked up some steps at the Cenotaph memorial to lay a wreath of red poppies (symbols of blood drops shed on the battle-fields), and then stood there to listen to the sermon of the Bishop of London followed by a two minutes silence in honour of those killed. Equally in excellent nick, Prince Philip (93) also laid his wreath, negotiating the steps – not easy if you have a sward dangling on your side.
Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II attends the Remembrance Sunday service at the Cenotaph in London, Sunday, Nov. 8, 2015. Remembrance Sunday is held each year to commemorate service men and women who fought in past military conflicts. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
Before ten-thusand war veterans marched past, more wreath layings followed, Prime Minister David Cameron and the leader of the Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn stepped forward, watched by a solemn line of politicians, former Prime Ministers in the second row: Conservative Sir John Major standing next to two socialists: Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. This what the order of this ceremony requires.
World Wars were tragic events of history as far as Hungary is concerned, but October 1956 was something to be proud of. Perhaps, one day there will be a Rememberance Sunday appointed to honour the fallen freedom fighters and the memory of those executed during the reprisals. Wreaths will be laid at a memorial in the Kerepesi út Pantheon by the Head of State and the Prime Minister, with all political parties represented in Parliament delegating their leaders to stand guard of honour, side by side.
Mátyás Sárközi (b. Budapest, 1937), writer, critic, literary translator and editor. Mr. Sárközi is the son of the writer György Sárközi (1899-1945) and grandson of Ferenc Molnár (1878-1952), author of the world-famous novel “The Paul Street Boys”.