Thursday 10 November 2011
At the 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month... 93 years ago
Spain was a neutral country in WWI and for that reason there's almost no emotional attachment to this period of history in my country. And probably for that reason too, it is only very lightly covered in the Spanish school's official programs. The knowledge among the general public is low at best.
After 30 years wargaming and tasting almost all possible gaming periods, I never felt particularly attracted to play WWI... until 3 years ago when in my local club I got hooked by one of the best scenery displays put on a table by two of my club members, who were playing WWI in Africa.
And what initially was pure visual attraction has become now one of my favourite periods. Wargaming is just a side of my hobbies, the other is historical researching the periods that I play. I boast to have a nice history book library and over these three years it has been fed with a signficant amount of WWI literature (you can see many of the books I've read in the "shelfari" section of this blog).
But I've also learned the very special emotional dimension that this conflict represents for many anglo-saxon countries and specially for the United Kingdom. I lived 5 years in London in th second half of the 90s and it did not go unnoticed to me that by the time this year almost every person around wore those funny plastic or paper red poppy flowers garments... but never stopped to consider their true significance, beyond seeing in them another eccentricity of these British chaps.
Now I know, now I understand... and I deeply respect the feelings, the collective effort of the British people to not forget those relatives or friends, even after 93 years, those "normal" persons like any of us today, working as shopkeepers, bankers, drivers; high or low class; who heard the call of duty and voluntarely, one day between 1914 and 1918 decided to wear the kakhi uniform, at the cost of losing their life for many of them.
Lest we forget...