The Value Of Sharing
I wrote this article several years ago and thought it appropriate to share again today!
Over the years I began to realise that after my dad had passed away so many of the wonderful things that he had been part of during his fulfilling but turbulent life were gone forever and that I needed to share who he was otherwise the following generations will never know what he achieved.
So I decided to write about what I remember from stories that I had heard from a very young age, dad never spoke much about what happened during the war, but I do remember him sharing with very close friends what he had endured like so many others during that period of time. So this is just a short article where I can express my pride in calling myself his son.
As a proud son I decided to share just a small part of what my father “Le Sergent MARA, Natapu, aviateur du Groupe “LORRAINE”, (his name was often miss spelt) achieved during his life and especially as a Returned Serviceman.
You and Mum gave me the blessed life I have lived, I miss you both Mum and Dad.
All My Love Your Proud Son Paul Linsley Tianoa Mara
What Is Remembrance Day?
Many of our younger generation really don’t know what Remembrance Day is and that’s understandable, well it’s also known as Poppy Day, Armistice Day and Veterans Day which is a memorial day that is observed in nearly all Commonwealth countries since the end of World War I in memory of the members of each Commonwealth Country whose armed forces gave their lives in the line of duty.
11 November is a special day for many of us, especially those related to people who gave their lives so that today we can live the lives that we have.
I believe there is one thing that we all had to consider and that is with any war whether our country was on the winning side or the losing side they have all lost people that are dear to them, really the bottom line is that thousands have been lost, there is no one unaffected by the devastation of war, only a lot of broken hearts and broken families.
I know myself personally that I am a product of the war a baby boomer, my father who was a Tahitian who decided at the age of 18 to leave Tahiti and join the forces.
He finally ended up in England after France capitulated and flew out of Camberley, it was there that he met my mother.
Dad was one of thousands of men and women who fought for their country; he had decided to be an aviator and was a gunner radio operator a member of GROUPE – LORRAINE SQUADRON.
He always said that he was one of the lucky ones, he became a member of the Goldfish club three times, as they were returning to Britain after bombing raids on three occasions they crashed into the sea and he escaped with his life on all three occasions and on one occasion saved other members of the crew.
He never talked much about it, for him personally I always remember him saying that he had bombed the city of his dreams Paris.
Bitter Sweet Rewards
Dad had so many medals but he never showed them to anyone or took time to show anyone they were just there.
I suppose the memories and the reason that he received those metals would be bittersweet.
He was even awarded the Chevalier de l’Ordre National du Mérite by the French government, he felt a little insulted as he had to actually pay to receive it, as far as I’m concerned that’s typical French.
I remember him telling friends when I was very young about the trauma of pulling his dead friends from the plane when they crashed but as I got older he never really mention anything to me I suppose he was trying to forget those horrific memories like all the other men and women who had seen atrocities during the war.
One Joyous Moment
One of fathers happiest moments post-war was when he returned to France in 1984 for a reunion with some of his comrades who like himself had survived the war.
I can only imagine what it would be like to see those you had been close friends with 40 years earlier and had not had contact with since, it would have been great to have been a fly on the wall listening to all their stories.
As I have said to my children and my grandchildren that we can’t even imagine what those hundreds of thousands of people must have gone through.
This is in the hope that the following generations will carry on the tradition of Remembrance Day.
Over the years I sadly myself have not stood for 1 minutes silence in many years, today I made the effort at 11 AM on 11 November 2011 to stand for 1 minutes silence.
Today I thought about all those women, children and men who lost their lives because of war, which continue right up till today, we as people or human beings are supposedly the most intellectual of all animals, then why do some of us seem to take so much pleasure in destroying other human beings, some people call them animals, we should not compare them to animals, there not an all like animals who kill to survive as part of the food chain.
People far wiser than me have tried to answer the age old question of why we wage war on one another!
Terrorism has changed the face of what was once called war, it is carried out by faceless murderers who use religion as an excuse, I personally know without mentioning the religion a lot of good honest citizens who are having their reputations and their beliefs destroyed by these inhumane terrorists, the sooner we are rid of them the better our world will be.
So today we should also consider all those people who were also needlessly killed because of terrorists and give a thought to those who lost their beloved ones.
Of course today is a special day to remember all those who fell, men and women who gave their lives unselfishly so that we may live in a democratic society.
May they Rest In Peace God Bless their Souls Lest We Forget
Well That’s Me For Now!
This Paul Mara aka Papy Paul Mara signing off!
PS: Please take the time to remember!