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Henry Allingham and Harry Patch tributes

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Gromit | 10:54 Thu 30th Jul 2009 | News
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Henry Allingham, who was was the world's oldest man when he died 12 days ago aged 113, and Harry Patch the last WWI veteran in Britain will be honoured today.

Hundreds of people are expected to attend Mr Allingham's funeral in Brighton, which will be followed by a flypast of five replica WWI aircraft.
Among the guests will be the Duchess of Gloucester, the Veterans Minister Kevan Jones and senior figures from the Royal Navy and the Air Force.

The service at St Nicholas Church is expected to be relayed to a big screen outside for members of the public.

The Queen said Mr Allingham was "one of the generation who sacrificed so much for us all", while Prime Minister Gordon Brown called him a "tremendous character".

I do not begrudge them their send off, but there were literally hundreds of thousands who fought and died alongside them who received no such fuss when they died.

I have every admiration for both these men and their colleagues, but my question is,

Are they being bestowed this honour because of their celebrity rather than war service?


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They are being posthumously feted in this manner because with their passing, we have lost our final 'eye witnesses' to the horror that was serving in WWI.

Rather like 'the unknown soldier' represents all those who perished, these last surviving men were our touchstones to the past.

Perhaps this final ceremony could be seen to represent the funeral services and commemorations that were deserved by all of those who laid down their lives.
....very well said jack.....
No Gromit, as jack says they are merely the representatives of their generation, it is the whole lot being honoured.

Only a lefty like you could imagine some sort of ulterior effect.

At the going down of the Sun,
and in the morning,
We will remember them.

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