Today is Remembrance Sunday and 100 years since the end of the First World War. So this is a very happy song for such a sad day.
But when I think of war and soldiers, I think of my Grandad. Grandad was shaped by both world wars, he was born at the beginning of the First and his father was in it for the whole four years and he fought in the Second.
It was something he didn’t like to talk about but it shaped him profoundly. So I could talk about sacrifice and freedom and what they fought for but this is what I know, my family is still dealing with what war and military service did to it and I wish people would be more careful when they talk about ‘heroes and freedom’. We honour service men and women by making sure they don’t have to fight, we honour the war dead by looking after their families, we honour injured servicemen by making sure that they have what they need to thrive after war, we honour military service by making sure that veterans don’t end up on the street because they haven’t had the support to make sure that their service doesn’t haunt and damage them afterwards.
On Thursday, it’s 104 years since my Grandad was born and I will honour the entirety of his life of which military service was part, by playing music that we both like. Grandad liked Mario Lanza (we come by it honestly!) and I like this song. Drinking (not that my teetotal Grandad did), dancing and celebrating life is how I will honour him.