CHARLES GRAHAM - A sickening lack of respect for our fallen
The year 2018, quite rightly, was a very special one as the nation marked the Armistice a century on.
There had been fears voiced that thereafter, the passion and interest would wane, partly due to the sheer quantity and quality of commemorations last year would be difficult to follow. And of course our World War II veterans are rapidly dwindling in number.
But we needn’t have worried. On Remembrance Sunday I couldn’t see any diminution in attendances and ceremonies and Wigan did our past and present armed forces proud.
Poppies were widely sported both on tops and around the streets and many turned out for the Last Post at many a borough cenotaphs.
But there always has to be someone who has to disrespect the glorious dead.
In Salford an idiot let off fireworks during the two-minute silence.
Several years ago a young man walked into a Roby Mill bar and brazenly stole a Royal British Legion collection box full of cash.
Last year another man was caught on film grabbing hold of a poppy wreath at Ince’s war memorial and flinging it into the road.
Sadly the sickeningly disrespectful sequence has not ended this year.
This time Remembrance wreaths to commemorate the fallen at the site of the town’s old drill hall were ripped down.
Although damaged, they were eventually recovered, thankfully - having been hidden under a pile of leaves - and were put back into position.
But one again has to wonder at the mentality of people who think it’s a laugh or a snub to the armed forces and our war veterans.
There are some things which are sacrosanct and committing crimes that disrespect those who died and fought for our country are one of them. Remember that national outrage when a woman urinated on Blackpool’s cenotaph nine years ago.
As if that wreath incident in Wigan wasn’t bad enough this week, we also had the distressing sight of not-for-profit organisation Make You Matter in Norley after a ransacking.
The community interest company does some fabulous work with people with mental health issues but this raid suffered a major setback when donated items including a 40ins TV, a new X-Box, computer monitors and an electric heater were stolen.
Oh for some more respect.