This morning I have been watching the "countdown" to the Vimy Ridge battle 100th anniversary on one of the national news channels. I was so disgusted by what I was seeing and hearing I actually had to turn it off for awhile.
The programme seemed dedicated to listening to reporters talking about themselves talking about themselves. Absolutely bizarre! The crowning glory of the pre-service reporting was a comment by a young reporter that this year's ceremony will be much different than previous years: there will of course be the usual speeches by dignitaries (ho hum, blah) but THIS year there will also be singing and dancing to make it into a REAL EVENT!! (yay, yippee, excitement far beyond a bunch of boring old commemorative speeches)
Singing and dancing at the site of a field of slaughter? What are the songs and dances commemorating? Unless the songs are funeral dirges and songs of protest about the disaster that is war and the dances are modern dance depictions of death, torture and suffering, I can't imagine anything more inappropriate. The words of the reporter were that this year there will be an actual EVENT! An event for the sake of having an event....at a war memorial! I felt sick to my stomach.
Perhaps I am being too hasty. Perhaps I am misunderstanding the young fellow's excitement about the differences between this year's EVENT and past rites of recognition of Canada's WWI involvement in France. Perhaps I should not comment before seeing the actual ceremony and all of the upcoming EVENT, but so far I am less than impressed by the quality of the reporting, if nothing else.
If the actual remembrance ceremony is more tasteful and respectful of that war's history at Vimy than the reporters have made it sound, then I stand corrected. But please, people, you are acting like this commemoration is some sort of combination of county fair and Superbowl half time performance. This is a field of death and disaster. This is a place of "turning point" in a world war that was so heinous many of the descendents of those soldiers are still suffering the effects a hundred years later. Singing and dancing couldn't sound like more inappropriate ways to honour the dead.