My most moving moment ever.

Discussion in 'OFF-Topic / Misc.' started by tankie1rtr, Oct 13, 2008.

  1. tankie1rtr

    tankie1rtr Member

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    I would like to share the most moving moment in my life with you guys, Yes like others on here I have lost close friends on active service and that is hard but "My most moving moment" is as follows, I am now 54yrs old, and I am an ex British Tankie, I was also Regimental Bugler (Trumpeter) a few years ago I was a Continental Coach Driver and I took my Silver Bugle all over with me, I would stop at the little War Cemetaries in France and I would play the last post (Taps) as a mark of respect, on one tour I was taking a group of mixed British and American ex Servicemen on a tour to Normandy, I will never forget this tour, we went to the Big American Cemetary at Pointe Du Hoc, and there stood 9,387 crosses of guys who had sacrificed their today for our tomorrow, and in a garden was a memorial to 1,577 missing in the invasion. Inside the main gates there is a large statue holding out a Laurel Leaf as a gesture of Peace, I asked the keeper of the Cemetary If I could have the privelage of playing taps by the statue as a mark of respect, he said he would be delighted to hear it, all the ex servicemen stood in a large semi circle around myself and the statue and I started playing, time seemed to stand still, the wind seemed to drop, and all people stopped what they were doing and stood stock still and the notes carried gently to fade away over the white crosses, I played as gently and meaningful as I could with tears streaming down my cheeks, and the gentle sobbing of grown men behind me. Late when we were walking towards the white crosses, an old lady dressed in black asked me If I was an American Soldier, I told her I wasn't, I was an ex British soldier who was not born untill 8 years after the war, she went on to tell me that she was visiting the grave of her Fiancee, he was a fighter pilot, 20yrs old, they were due to get married that month, when she received a letter saying he had been lost over Normandy, she never married and still wore he's engagement ring, she kissed me on my cheek and said "Thank You" to me, me who had only played a bugle, yet her who's love had been lost for my (our) freedom, I will never forget that tour, I was very very humbled by the company of the Old Soldiers I spent two weeks with, and then I was once again humbled by a single little old lady, That week I cried buckets, and still years later as I write this, I still well up. I would love to put a newspaper cutting to follow this post but I dont know how to do it, If anybody would like it please mail me and I will post it to you.
    Regards
    tankie:cry:
     
  2. Marcel

    Marcel Well-Known Member

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    Good story, tank!
     
  3. ccheese

    ccheese Member In Perpetuity
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    I agree, Tankie... quite moving. Never been to Normandy, but spent a lot
    of time wandering the beaches of French Morocco, in North Africa. I know
    that feeling.

    Charles
     
  4. Thorlifter

    Thorlifter Well-Known Member

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    And I am moved by your story, Tankie. Thank you for sharing.

    As far as attaching an image, click on the Post Reply button. Then, under the box where you would type text, click on Manage Attachments. Click on the browse button and find the image you have, highlight it, then click open. Next click the upload button. Close the attachment box and click the Submit Reply button.
     
  5. timshatz

    timshatz Active Member

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    Great story tank. Been to that Cemetery. Was there back in 1994 with a couple of girls I knew back then. We had just plowed through a couple of bottles of wine at lunch and were feeling no pain.

    That sobered us up fast. All those crosses. The three of us gave a collective "Whoa...". Not what you expect. Kinda figure it's going to be like a graveyard you go into anywhere else. But it really isn't. Tough to put a finger on it, but it's like the dead aren't really the forgotten dead of a typical graveyard. Not dead that have lived their lives and ended them. These are the dead that still have meaning today. They are still somebodies because they died for a reason, for a purpose. And we are the benenficiaries of those deaths, not by choice but by happy circumstance of birth.

    Just a thought.
     
  6. tankie1rtr

    tankie1rtr Member

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    Thank You Thorlifter, I will try it.
    Regards
    tankie
     
  7. RabidAlien

    RabidAlien Active Member

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    Man, I would give just about anything to experience that particular Memorial. I kinda have an idea, having been to Vicksburg and Gettysburg, here in the US (Civil War battlefields)....but, wow....to play Taps for those men....

    :salute:
     
  8. Aaron Brooks Wolters

    Aaron Brooks Wolters Well-Known Member

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  9. Matt308

    Matt308 Glock Perfection
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  10. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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  11. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Thanks for that, John. I'm sure you'll know what I mean when I mention the Arnhem graves, and the children with flowers.
    I visited once, on one of the anniversaries of 'Market Garden'. Every year, on the 17 September, or the nearest Sunday, children from the local schools attend the cemetaries in and around Arnhem and Oosterbeek. They are each allotted a grave, and place flowers there at the ceremony.
    It's one of the few times I've witnessed tough, hairy-assed former and serving Paras with tears streaming down their faces.
     
  12. Matt308

    Matt308 Glock Perfection
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    I'm not a tough hairy-assed para, far from it. But have visited Arlington cemetary. Closest thing to Tankie's visit that I have ever been to. And I cried like a baby. Remember it to this day.
     
  13. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

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  14. Screaming Eagle

    Screaming Eagle Active Member

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  15. rochie

    rochie Well-Known Member

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    amazing stuff tankie i plan to visit as many places like those mentioned just to show my respects:salute: :salute: :salute: :salute:
     
  16. seesul

    seesul Active Member

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    Tankie, many thanks for sharing your story.
    I can imagine your feelings as a friend of mine mentioned in my siggy visited all the crash places of his comrades who were KIA on Aug 29,1944, during his visits here in 2005 and 2007.At the last crash site he sat down and started crying ...he realized how he could end up during that battle...
    Thanks again!
     
  17. mkloby

    mkloby Active Member

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    Truly a great story... :salute:
     
  18. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

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    Supurb, simple and moving.
    Well done
     
  19. v2

    v2 Well-Known Member

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    Great story tankie! :cry: :salute:
     
  20. Old Wizard

    Old Wizard Well-Known Member

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    I always feel moved each Remembrance Day when the Canadian WWI war memorial a Vimy is shown.

    [​IMG]


    Mother Canada weeping for her fallen sons.

    [​IMG]

    A little known fact is that Hitler visited the site and afterwards, ordered that it be protected for the duration of the war.
     
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