Friday, November 11, 2011

Remembrance at the checkout

Given the date, I thought I'd share with you all a tale of Remembrance Day past that, in my opinion, encapsulates the significance of the occasion (and is also, I think, in it's own way, darkly amusing).

Four or five years back, The Wife and I were doing our weekly supermarket shop on a Sunday which happened to be Remembrance Day. Come 11am, the announcement came over the PA that the store would fall silent for a couple of minutes as we paid our collective respects.

A hush descended, broken only by the odd cough and a few whimpering infants.

How did the retailer choose to mark the end of this period of reflection? The Last Post? The National Anthem? A round of applause? No, the most solemn two minutes of the year was instead brought to a close with a cheery "Thank you for shopping at Tesco."

The odd thing was, they had probably agonised over this, and somebody somwhere had concluded that it was the right thing to say.

On further reflection it seemed almost apt - a reminder of exactly what was won all those many years ago, in Flanders Fields and on the beaches of Normandy, and what Our Boys, as The Sun refers to them, are dying for today. The freedom to shop.

Makes you think, doesn't it?


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