Remembrance Sunday ceremony causes traffic nightmare
The Remembrance Day ceremony at the war memorial in Floriana and concurrent road works yesterday created an almighty traffic jam stretching back to Msida, motorists said.
St Anne Street was closed for the ceremony, with traffic directed to Sarria but on reaching the area of the Independence monument, traffic was directed back to Msida via police headquarters - it could not turn to the right because of the ceremony and it could not turn left towards the Excelsior Hotel because of road works.
Even access to the MCP car park was closed.
Traffic towards Valletta on Sunday morning is usually thin, but the always popular book fair was currently being held at the Mediterranean Conference Centre.
Meanwhile in his homily at the Mass preceding the Remembrance Day ceremony, addressing the members of the armed forces, Archbishop Charles Scicluna said that on Remembrance Sunday we fulfill our duty to remember all those who died serving our country in times of conflict, all those who gave their lives in order that we may enjoy peace and security.
The affirmation of peace is not an easy task, especially due to the fact that war hardens the hearts of men and increases violence and hatred.
John XXIII in “Pacem in terris” (1963), endorsed the four pillars of peace in social life: Truth, Justice, Charity and Freedom.
The first pillar is truth. It encourages you to acknowledge each and every one’s rights and duty as citizens of the Republic, including the rights and duties of your own men and women members of the Armed Forces. This requires in the leadership of the Army a strong sense of the State at the service of the common good.
The second pillar is justice. Leadership and service based on justice means that people “respect the rights of others and do their duty.” If you acknowledge rights and duties you are more able to respect the fundamental human rights of citizens, more able do your duty under the rule of law.
The third pillar is charity (love). I encourage you to promote an environment of charity among all ranks, avoiding cruel gossip that poisons your morale, striving to cherish the gifts that each and everyone of you brings to the Armed Forces. In the name of the people of our fair islands, I would like to thank you for your heroic work in civil protection, and for the part you play in humanitarian missions in the Mediterranean. This is indeed a generous witness to charity that is worthy of our praise and admiration.
The fourth pillar is freedom. The question of freedom in the context of any army subject to military discipline is indeed a delicate one. My prayer is that the leadership and the ranks will never be faced with the tragic choice between the call of duty and the demands of conscience. As to the relationship of the Armed Forces to us, ordinary citizens of the Republic, my prayer is that you will never be called by the powers that be to deny our freedoms by force or unjust violence. May we always find in you the keepers of our security, the defenders of our freedoms.
Photos: Jonathan Borg