Lest we forget
11th hour, on the 11th day of the 11th month.
Bermuda takes today very seriously and the day is a national holiday with shops and businesses closed to remember those that were lost. The island lost 125 brave men and women during the World Wars fighting overseas on behalf of the Brits, Americans and Canadians protecting the freedom of those back home on a 21 sq. mile island in the middle of the Atlantic.
At 11am today guns are fired at Fort Hamilton and Ordnance Island in St. George’s, to signal a two-minute silence and a parade by war veterans is held in Hamilton ending with wreaths being laid at the Cenotaph and new war memorial on Front Street
A national holiday is a creditable way to honour those that lost their lives, and it is a shame that other countries don’t consider today as worthy.
We are going to head over to the Royal Naval Dockyard, itself a hugely significant part of Bermudian military history. It looks very different today and although much history remains it is mostly the central hub to receive and entertain cruise ships and their passengers. Our plan involves nothing more simple than a bike ride and grabbing a coffee but I think it is right that we visit the Royal Naval Cemetery which is on the way.
On Malabar Road in Sandys Parish the Royal Navy purchased the land where the cemetery sits in 1809 and consecrated the grounds in 1812. The cemetery is known as ‘The Glade,’ and has memorials to many Royal Navy personnel from warships stationed here who died of the yellow fever that ravaged the British military in Bermuda during the mid-19th century.
Maintained by the British War Graves Commission buried here are four Admirals, and I am told there are some very fine monuments erected by families and subsequent descendants and taking a stroll amongst the beauty where many heroes lie will be an appropriate way to acknowledge the 100th anniversary of the start of World War One.