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to think children shouldn't play on a park's war memorial?

(116 Posts)
OrdinaryGirl Wed 05-Oct-16 09:30:08

Just that really. We have a small park round the corner from us. In the middle is a beautiful memorial to the fallen - a column with little steps up to it and a statue of a running infantry soldier on top.

Yesterday three children were there with a lady, and they were chasing each other round the top step, and jumping over the poppy wreaths, occasionally stumbling and accidentally kicking them out of place. The lady was just watching them and smiling.

I felt really hot and uncomfortable as I don't even sit on the bottom step quietly to eat a sandwich, although a lot of people do. It felt like the children were being allowed to behave ignorantly and disrespectfully. I didn't know whether to say something.

I got to thinking - should these war memorials be treated as a special part of the park furniture? To be used and sat on and played on, because that's what the people in WW1 & WW2 who died believed they were fighting for - the right for people to get on living their lives peacefully.

Or should they be sacred, something you don't touch or sit on?

I'm inclined to the latter but would like to hear the thoughts of the hive mind, especially as we approach Remembrance Day.

So - AIBU?

NavyandWhite Wed 05-Oct-16 09:32:49

I don't think YABU. I wouldn't have let mine play on a war memorial when they were younger. Seems disrespectful.

Pootles2010 Wed 05-Oct-16 09:34:18

I would agree with you, and have taught ds what memorials are and why we need to respect them. Having said that, our village one is surrounded by a little hedge, maybe it would be better if they had a little rail to avoid that sort of situation? The kids certainly aren't at fault if they don't know.

AuntieStella Wed 05-Oct-16 09:35:11

Bit of both.

No problem with the idea that they are run round and played on.

I don't like the idea of wreaths being kicked, so I'd say keep off whilst adorned.

JenLindleyShitMom Wed 05-Oct-16 09:35:18

They were playing on it not pissing on it Fgs! They should have minded the poppy wreaths but other than that i don't think any service people would mind a few children having some enjoyment out of playing there.

ApocalypseNowt Wed 05-Oct-16 09:36:17

I know what you mean OP. I'm surprised it isn't fenced off. The ones near me are...only a small fence (a child could step over it) but it signals it's not to be played on and keeps the wreaths and flowers relatively safe.

The fact that it isn't fenced off and there are steps up to it will make people think it's ok to be 'used' as park furniture.

VioletBam Wed 05-Oct-16 09:36:38

I never let mine play on them...especially when there are wreaths on them!

I do understand kids playing in graveyards though...I read in one of Dicken's books that he thought children should always feel free to play in graveyards as they lighten the atmosphere and any spirits would enjoy the sound of their laughter.

Perhaps think of it like that OP. Like you I would discourage it but if I see it happen I try to think of the balance of life. The memorial is to the dead soldiers but the children represent new beginnings.

BastardGoDarkly Wed 05-Oct-16 09:38:27

I wouldn't let my kids run and jump around the wreaths no. Maybe sit on the bottom step if there was nowhere else though.

Knocking the wreaths off is disrespectful, especially to the living that have taken the time to lay them,to whom they presumably symbolise something important.

BarbarianMum Wed 05-Oct-16 09:40:31

<<should these war memorials be treated as a special part of the park furniture? To be used and sat on and played on, because that's what the people in WW1 & WW2 who died believed they were fighting for - the right for people to get on living their lives peacefully. >>

Personally, this is what I believe but I can understand others feeling differently - it's always difficult to interpret the wishes of the dead, you can only guess. My children have always clambered over my grandmother and aunts graves (raised tomb type things) when we visit because I know they'd have been delighted to have been around to be clambered over themselves. With war memorials the worst I think is when they are a separate, rather neglected part of a park or green where nobody goes. I can think of a few like that round here.

saoirse31 Wed 05-Oct-16 09:40:57

Playing on and around memorial , seems fine, kicking wreaths out of way, very poor, can't believe woman with them didn't stop that.

VioletBam Wed 05-Oct-16 09:42:15

I would have pointedly got up and replaced the wreaths personally.

BarbarianMum Wed 05-Oct-16 09:44:58

Oh and I agree about leaving the wreaths alone.

mimishimmi Wed 05-Oct-16 09:57:36

I'm not sure. I probably wouldn't like the wreaths getting kicked but kids running around? I think it's okay. My feelings are mixed having had each generation go to fight until recently - all those wars have pretty much been mass murder for big business IMO sad

RhiWrites Wed 05-Oct-16 10:00:03

I think AuntieStella has the right of it.

FleurThomas Wed 05-Oct-16 10:04:05

The way I see it these servicemen and women wouldn't have minded a few kids playing innocently around their memorial, in fact I'm sure they would have loved it. I'm a big believer that memorials in parks and open spaces need to be interactive & usable- having said this, however, they shouldn't be kicking the wreaths around. Those things are delicate and the guardian should have told them to stop.

PageStillNotFound404 Wed 05-Oct-16 10:05:07

The memorial is to the dead soldiers but the children represent new beginnings.

That's a lovely way of thinking about it and has made me reflect on my gut instinct which was to say no to playing on it.

I agree that kicking and messing up wreaths is disrespectful and I definitely wouldn't like to see that.

MoonfaceAndSilky Wed 05-Oct-16 10:05:15

Kids playing near them - nice.
Kids playing on them - disrespectful.

Lunar1 Wed 05-Oct-16 10:06:33

There are plenty of places to run, climb and play. There are a few places we can go and reflect on the wars and the people who lost their lives and families. My children have been taught about our local memorials and poppies significance.

Children and adults should be respectful of the sacrificed made and those still being made today. People lost their lives for our freedom, but that's freedom to live within our country and community and it's our responsibility to respect how lucky we are, not just do as we please because we can.

Lunar1 Wed 05-Oct-16 10:07:25

Moon face said what I meant!

UterusUterusGhali Wed 05-Oct-16 10:09:36

If there are wreaths on, no, I wouldn't let my dc play on it.

If there weren't poppies present Id be fine about it. The continuation of life, and future generations are what these servicemen thought they were fighting for.

icingonthewall Wed 05-Oct-16 10:11:28

very much agree with all those who have said that kicking wreaths about is not ok, but that playing is fine.
It's the 'for our tomorrows they gave their today' thing. Joy and playfulness can't be disrespectful; spoiling wreaths/arrangements of course can be.

MadameCholetsDirtySecret Wed 05-Oct-16 10:13:45

Of course they shouldn't play on the memorial. They have the whole park ffs.

kaitlinktm Wed 05-Oct-16 10:16:38

Agree with AuntyStella et al. Keep away from touching the wreaths but protecting these sorts of freedom are what wars are fought for.

StarryIllusion Wed 05-Oct-16 10:19:00

I think climbing and playing on it is fine. Those soldiers gave their lives to protect future generations and tbh I think they would probably like to see kids playing, safe and happy. My granddad fought in WW2 and I think he wouldn't mind this at all. I wouldn't let them do it while there are poppies/wreaths/flowers on it though. Around remembrance day it becomes less acceptable, Imo because ruining the tributes is disrespectful. They aren't going to spoil the statue by playing on it but kicking the wreaths is not on.

BlancheBlue Wed 05-Oct-16 10:21:24

Could have been a nanny

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