Animals in War - We will remember them

 

Armistice Day, 11th November 2016 

Armistice Day - also known as Remembrance Day - gives us an opportunity to remember all those who gave their lives in war, and who were willing to make the ultimate sacrifice so that we may live the lives we do today.  It is also a chance to be thankful to all those who continue to be prepared to make that ultimate sacrifice, and to remember their families for all they do to support their loved ones and all they go through.  

One aspect of war that is not highlighted enough is the role animals play in war and how they are affected by it.

War is a terrible thing.  Humans start it and yet animals are badly affected by it.

In London, there's a memorial called Animals in War, pictured right.   

Beneath the main heading "Animals in War", the memorial has two inscriptions:

"This monument is dedicated to all the animals that served and died alongside British and Allied forces in wars and campaigns throughout time."

The second, smaller inscription simply reads:

"They had no choice."

The Animals in War Memorial - We will remember them.

The British, Commonwealth and Allied forces enlisted millions of animals.  They were chosen for a range of their natural instincts.  Huge numbers were killed, often suffering terrible deaths from wounds, starvation, thirst, exhaustion, disease and exposure. 

Horses, mules, donkeys, dogs, pigeons, elephants, camels, oxen, bullocks, cats, rats, canaries and even glow worms... they were all affected.   And millions more wildlife are affected as fighting takes place on their territories.

Find out more about the Animals in War Memorial

"The monument is a powerful and moving tribute to all the animals that served, suffered and died alongside the British, Commonwealth and Allied forces in the wars and conflicts of the 20th century." 
The Animals in War Memorial website

Find out more about this very special memorial here

So on Armistice Day when the two minutes silence takes place, please spare a thought for all those animals who have died in war and who have been and are today affected by it.  Let us remember them.