169. The Freedom of The Borough

by Jarvo J June. 18, 2010 4588 views

On Thursday, 200 members of the 1st Battalion, Royal Anglian Regiment marched through Southend to celebrate being granted The Freedom of The Borough on their return from Afghanistan.

My first thought on seeing them was surprise at how young they looked. This is the age of the people we hear about in the news getting blown up by roadside bombs! I don't know why I should be surprised, apart from having a friend of the family serving out there at the age of 19, at the moment I am reading Studs Terkel's My American Century. Exactly the same theme is covered in Stud's quotes of American soldiers in WWII: "There was another first in the lives of the GIs. Young kids who had never wandered beyond the precinct of their small hometown or their father's farm“…”They were no longer the Germans of the brutish faces and the helmets we saw on the newsreels. They were boys like us“… ”I went there a skinny, gaunt mama's boy, full of wonderment… I came back much more circumspect in my judgement of people. And of governments".

As for the photos, they aren't very good but I was in the position of not wanting to get drawn too far into the very packed crowd, as I needed to get away quickly to drive Cliff to his last exam. The scary thing is, my own son is now old enough to join the Army. Though he's still got a while to go before he'd be allowed to serve overseas.

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Helen Hooker 9 years, 5 months ago

Great post - and a well deserved honour for all of them.

9 years, 5 months ago Edited
Thebronzebow 9 years, 5 months ago

Young and old, they're all changed. Great reminder.

9 years, 5 months ago Edited
Stefan Fletcher 9 years, 5 months ago

Thank you for posting these.

9 years, 5 months ago Edited
Eiram Marie 9 years, 5 months ago

My son is 20.....touching photos...they are always too young, don´t you think?

9 years, 5 months ago Edited
Huiching 9 years, 5 months ago

Nice scenes.

9 years, 5 months ago Edited
Sandra Vermeulen 9 years, 5 months ago

I'm so happy I have a daughter and she is not interested in the army.

9 years, 5 months ago Edited
Agnes Felber 9 years, 5 months ago

Would you let your sons in the army, Jon?

9 years, 5 months ago Edited
Gerd Korts 9 years, 5 months ago

My sons are 19 and 20 too but luckywise oversea assignments are only for those who serve voluntary

9 years, 5 months ago Edited
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