The first memorial to the 55,573 airmen killed during Second World War bombing raids opened in Britain today. I think it is wrong that it took sixty-seven years to honour their sacrifice.
The issue is contentious because of the numbers who died at the hands of Bomber Command, when we were fighting for our survival. There are no easy answers; I know that.
I do not agree with everything we have been to war about, but I wholeheartedly support our troops and the difficult job they do. I was therefore disgusted to read that two military personnel were refused service in Coventry because they were in uniform. They were in uniform because they were on a break between the rehearsal and funeral of a colleague and brother.
My elder brother was in the British Army for twenty-two years. I am proud of him. My friend’s son is in the Army; he has done one tour so far of Afghanistan. He brought home the bullet that had his name on it – it hit the tank he had been leaning against, just as he happened to bend down.
He is in Kenya at the moment, training. For those who have nothing good to say about our squaddies, I’ll quote from his mother’s email to me:
One of his highlights he said was they went to an orphanage where they’ve had a broken tractor for several years so the children have been ploughing the field. It took them a day and a half to fix the tractor and another day and a half ploughing the field.
Talking of his bending down, when he went off to join the Army, his massive extended family went to the station to wave him off. Many of them were crying; so, from the train, he pulled down his pants and mooned them.
And they gave this boy a gun!
I think we’re in good hands.