Monday, December 26, 2011


Virtues such as self-sacrifice, duty and stoicism — the quiet, unassuming heroism of ordinary women coping with separation and the fear of being bereaved on the battlefield. For it is not just soldiers making a sacrifice for their country but their wives and families, too.

And we were touched also because, in an age which has made a fetish of emotional incontinence and tells us that the worst thing we can do is repress our emotions, what these women showed us was the dignity and nobility of emotional restraint.

They minimise their fears and their privations in order to keep the spirits of their fighting menfolk up. In other words, this restraint is itself an act of selfless love.

Singing in the choir helps them channel and release some of that emotion. So it moves us very greatly, because only then do we see the value of such restraint — and what it has cost them. -

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