A Picture That Speaks A Thousand Words!
Photo By Doreen Thompson
At The Animals’ War memorial, Marble Arch: Monserett
Thompson and Cynthia O’Neill show love and compassion. Indeed, such folk
as these – plus the crowds that gathered from afar – are truly what
Jesus said of His followers: ‘You are the salt of the earth’. Salt
opposes contamination. It counteracts insipidness and blandness. It
sharpens. Yes, and in the process of healing it can jolly well smart!
Well, in a bland, insipid, putrefying world of spreading contamination
and corruption we need true people of God to bring others up with a jolt
and, after a temporary smart of troubled conscience, to learn the
meaning of living an abundant life of joy and satisfaction in the
service of others. Yes, and most of all in speaking up for those that
cannot speak up for themselves. This year’s Remembrance Sunday service
went wonderfully well. Good, well and truly overcame evil! Here is how
Doreen saw it:
‘James and I had arrived at a friends in Abbots
Langley two days previously. They had checked the Green Line Buses to
Marble Arch and done a trial run to check the times. We duly set out on
Sunday 8th November with one and a half hours to spare. On waiting
with others at the Bricket Wood bus stop, the first bus we arrived for,
did not turn up; the second, twenty minutes later, came by full; and the
driver would not allow anyone to stand. Time for the third, another
twenty minutes later, and no sign of it coming. So we were taken by car
towards Bushey Tube Station and both roads to it were blocked by blue
and white sticker tape. We were then driven to Stanmore Station and
asked where to get tickets, only to find when we got to the bottom of
the steps that the trains were not running on that line. We were almost
in despair, it was 9.30a.m. Then outside the station we saw a single
taxi. Our luck was about to change. Armad the driver would take the four
of us, waiting, to Marble Arch for £28, and he said he could do it in
the hour. We jumped in with a sigh of great relief. He knew London like
the back of his hand, and knew all the short cuts without traffic lights
and congestion. He delivered us by the memorial at 10.25a.m; which
allowed five minutes to robe or stand alongside Cynthia on the steps of
the memorial! So on the 8th November 2009 - after an unbelievable number
of set-backs - we had made it to the Animals’ War Memorial, Brook Gate,
Park Lane, London, for the second remembrance service of its kind. After
an early wet start to the day it had now given way to a dry hazy
morning, and around eighty people had gathered together in front of the
impressive memorial. They had come to remember animals maimed and killed
as the victims of war.
The event began promptly at 10.30a.m. and was
conducted by my husband James. The service started with a Call to
Worship. This was followed by a short address from Cynthia, who all her
life, has campaigned tirelessly to improve the lives of animals and
birds. A hymn was then sung, followed by a reading from the Holy Bible.
Another hymn was sung, and then a quiet time to reflect on the animals.
This brought us up to the two minutes silence, which was observed at
exactly 11.00a.m. when we remembered all the people and animals affected
by war. A third hymn was then sung.
Flowers, wreaths, posies and cards were then placed
on the steps of the memorial by individuals, some representing the
“Anglican”, “Roman Catholic”, and “Quaker” Animal Welfare Associations,
“The Christian Vegetarian Association UK”, “The Order of the Cross”,
“The Fellowship of Life” and “The Christian Alliance of Love and
Fellowship”. Some members of the TV and theatrical world such as “Mark
the Vet” also graced us with their presence.
The ceremony came to a close with the singing of the
Doxology followed by the Blessing being given by the “Rev. George”, an
Anglican clergyman from Watford, whom we met earlier this year. He was
delighted to come and join us. Afterwards, people renewed old
acquaintances and many read the inscriptions on the memorial. Eventually
about ten of us walked up to Marble Arch and enjoyed a warm drink and
sandwiches in a corner café. This in itself was most enjoyable.
Eventually we returned with our very kind host, via Green Line
Coaches, to her home in Abbots Langley for a lovely meal followed by a
musical evening at her local church’.
Photo by Don Gwillim
‘Some of the worshippers exchanging greetings following the event’
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