June 1-30 Challenge

Day 21 Twenty-one Gun Salute

June 21, 1919. Admiral Ludwig von Reuter scuttled the German fleet in Scapa Flow, Orkney. The nine sailors killed were the last casualties of World War I.

In every war there are men and women worthy of honor for their sacrifices and bravery.

The Twenty-one gun salute is the military’s way of honoring someone. Who would you like to honor? Who do you consider a hero? Write about him or her.

Alternative: What would like to be honored for? How would you like to be honored?

My Dad

My dad was a policeman in south Wales. He worked in various departments, including the traffic, drugs and criminal sectors. He was also one of the policemen sent to the Welsh valleys when  the mining strike of  the 70’s was in full force, involving the union leader Arthur Scargill and the formidable Prime Minister at the time, Margaret Thatcher. My story involves that devastating time for Welsh industry.

One of my dad’s duties during the strikes was to protect the mine entrances from the strikers, and to allow the working men (the ones not on strike) to get to work safely. The miners who chose to ignore the strike and to go to work, were known as ‘scabs’ for their refusal to involve themselves, or to make a stand against Thatcher’s policies. The strikes went on for months, and in this time, the miners had no income. This meant that many of the families had to rely on handouts from family and friends in order to feed their children. The strikes had a devastating effect on the small Welsh communities. I was just a child at the time, but the scars still remain; today the areas in the Welsh valleys are run down, as Margaret Thatcher won the battle, and closed the mines.

My dad really felt for the families. I remember him coming home each evening and telling us of the daily struggles of the miners as they tried to live a normal lives in such poor circumstances. Needless to say, he started a club at the station, which raised money for the families. Then he and a mate persuaded local businesses to give groceries and help fund the miners. They borrowed a van, and loaded the goods, and drove up the valleys (on their shift days off ) and handed out well needed supplies; basic food items and well as household items that the families were struggling to live without. I remember helping him load one van, and sitting on the passenger seat, proud as punch to help out.

I still have fond memories of that time, and of my dad, the hero.