November 11, 2008
As I stood in front of my students at 11.00 a.m. observing the two minute silence, I tried to imagine what it must have been like going over the edge of the trench into the barrage of bullets and bombs.
What could these poor young men have been thinking, running towards their inevitable deaths? What would have happened if WW1 hadn't taken place? Would the computer I am typing this on exist if Archduke Ferdinand had lived?
It is so easy to pass these moments by. You don't have to stand for two minutes channelling your thoughts. You could just ignore the moment and get on with your life in the same manner. No-one forces you to watch the parades, wear the poppies or mourn the dead.
Then again, no-one forced people to vote for Hitler.
In life, you can be a passive observer and it's probably makes life simpler if you are, but then, what exactly will you have achieved by the time your flame blows itself out?
I told my Year 8's that standing there silently for those two minutes was not something they could chose to do. I instructed them to do it because I fervently believed that those soldiers, the ones who didn't carry on their family lines, deserved to have two minutes in the year dedicated to them.
My students stood still and probably didn't understand what they doing but if one single child did "get it", then those soldiers won't have died in vain.
And that's my little bit for 1918 and 1945 and 2008.
Two minutes is not nearly long enough to do those soldiers justice.