The importance of having a Christmas tree at the Picton Cenotaph is manyfold, but there are two very significant reasons that need to be highlighted.
First, the Cenotaph Christmas tree is symbolic of the recognition of Christmas during wartime. The most poignant example is the Christmas Truce of 1914 when a brief ceasefire was agreed upon by German and British soldiers. There were many such truces along the Western Front in that year which gave opportunities for “enemies” to exchange gifts and to find the bodies of their comrades to give them a proper burial.
Second, the Christmas tree reminds us all of the Christmases missed by those who fell in war-whether on Christmas Day or any other time. And for military families today, with loved ones who cannot be home to celebrate Christmas with their families and friends. The new tradition of laying Christmas wreaths at the gravestones of fallen soldiers pays a deserved honour to those who died in battle-those who could no longer at Christmas dinner with their families.
In Picton, why is there suddenly no municipal support acknowledging our fallen military heroes with a Christmas tree at the Cenotaph? We must not forget.
Inquiries to the Mayor and councillors remain unanswered.
The email reply from the Picton Legion read: “No comment! May the force be with you!”
As the County turns another corner, its history is lost and its culture suffers yet again. To watch our municipal council trample forward is nothing less than deplorable. And we all stumble into the New Year.