On Friday (12 July 2013) the military funeral took place of 25-year-old Fusilier Lee Rigby, who was killed in Woolwich, south-east London, in May. I saw a little of they funeral on the tv as it was on the television in the hospital when I was sitting waiting to be taken for my appointment.
The events surrounding Lee Rigby’s murder I think touched many of us, as it seems he was murdered simply because he was a British soldier, serving his country in our armed forces.
After I finished at the hospital, as it was lunchtime I decided to go for a walk in a park I often walk through. In the centre of this park is a cenotaph commemorating our fallen soldiers from all the various wars. Having walked passé this cenotaph several times in the last week I was aware that at the foot of it were a number of poppy wreaths which had obviously been laid there last year on Remembrance Sunday.
On Friday however as I was walking round the park and neared the cenotaph I realised there was something different, there was a union flag and a small bouquet of flowers place at the foot of the cenotaph. A walk closer to the cenotaph I realised the flag and flowers with a lovely message had been placed there today in memory and support of Lee Rigby and his family, on this most difficult of days for them.
I must admit a wee tear came to my eye as I read the card that was attached to the flowers, it was such a lovely thing for someone who lives hundreds of miles away from where Lee lived and died, to do.
After a few moments of contemplation and prayer I continued on my walk round the park. My journey however was to take me back past the cenotaph and the memorial again a little later…
As I approached the cenotaph the second time a young boy of about 13 or 14 whizzed passed me on a scooter, he slowed as he passed the union flag and the flowers and then turned and stopped right in front of the flag and the flowers. By this time I was just a few metres away from the boy, and realised he was reading the card on the flowers and nodding. He took two or three stepped backwards away from the cenotaph, and as he turned towards in my direction to carry on his way he did a thumbs up in the direction of the cenotaph. He nodded again and smiled at me as he then whizzed off down the path on his journey.
I was very touched by this, as having already read the message that went with the flag and the flowers I realised he had obviously been as touched by them as I was. How many young lads of that age would be interested enough to stop and read something like this and show approval in the way this young lad had done.
I will probably never know who this young boy was, but what a credit to his parents. We say so much wrong in this world these days, that it was good to see some good on Friday, both from the person who left the tribute to Lee Rigby but also the boy who showed his support and approval to this memorial too.
RIP Lee Rigby