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A Little Respect Please

I won't be able to make the meeting in Dunbar at the end of the month to discuss the fate of the recently discovered bodies of the 29 Scottish soldiers who were among approximately 1,600 who died in captivity at Durham Cathedral after the Battle of Dunbar in 1650. But this is my tuppence-worth. The bodies should be respectfully buried at Durham. The only other alternative would be at Dunbar itself and I think soldiers should be buried where they fell. I don't hold with repatriating the bodies. Like most Brits, I have relatives, ancestors even, buried in foreign soils across the world - from France to Hong Kong. I think that's more fitting than the local cemetery in Scotland with those who died from "natural" causes or accident. Of course, in none of the countries I have relatives buried in are their graves or, in two cases because their bodies were never identified the memorials bearing their names, likely to be vandalised or desecrated. I couldn't help feeling the Taliban were just being spiteful when they smashed the gravestones of 19th Century British soldiers, and civilians, buried in Kabul to pieces with sledgehammers a couple of years ago. And the Libyans thanked us for our air support during the overthrow of Col. Gaddafi by vandalising Commonwealth War Graves cemeteries. Much the same thing happened at Basra in Iraq. Closer to home, war graves and memorials in Northern Ireland have also been vandalised But somehow I don't think the people of Durham will show the same hatred of the Scots dead. There used to be a time when decent fighting men showed respect for their fallen enemies once the battle was over. Venting hatred on dead bodies is more the sort of thing sad-sack cowards do. By the way, I'm referring only to deliberate desecration, not the metal thievery from war memorials by the chronically stupid that is becoming more common in Scotland and the rest of the United Kingdom. Are these guys the great-grandchildren of deserters? Maybe that's a blog for another day. Oops, turns out I wrong and I should I remembered this, Commonwealth war graves have been vandalised in France. And someone had a go at some Australian war graves in England earlier this year. There would appear to be more scumbags  out there than I realised when I first started writing this.     

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