Monday, November 14, 2016
Yesterday I took a photo walk in Wimbledon and Richmond, in southwest London. My goal was to see Richmond Park, where I'd never been, and I'd intended to travel directly to Richmond on the District Line tube. But the first District Line train went to Wimbledon instead, so I thought, "Well, I'll just go there and walk to Richmond."
It turned out to be a fortuitous decision, because I found myself inadvertently attending Wimbledon's Remembrance Sunday services. I was walking down the high street when I saw a military procession about to begin (above).
So I shot some pictures and followed the procession to the war memorial, at the edge of Wimbledon Common.
There, crowds had gathered to pay respects and remember the war dead.
There were prayers and messages from local clergy, emphasizing the need to care for others without seeing in that action the diminution of ourselves and our countries. One spoke about the Biblical assurance that the meek shall inherit the Earth -- meek in the sense that they put others before themselves -- rather than those who bluster and win "popularity contests."
Someone even brought a Remembrance Sheep, decorated with poppies, flags and what looked like a toy airplane on its back. A small band played, including a very capable bugler, and hymns were sung.
I didn't stay for the entire service, because I had a long way to walk, but it was an interesting, somber yet positive and hopeful experience.