From Albania Again

Today in Tirana I chanced on the Commonwealth War Cemetery.  A surprise to find so old and intimate a link with home.  At random I read some of the near identical stones.

Sargeant G N Brookes   Pilot   Royal Air Force   7th November 1940   Age 24   In proud and loving memory of George, who made the supreme sacrifice.

Signalman D W Rockingham   Royal Signals   20th October 1943   Age 21   Always in our thoughts.

My own thoughts were taken by the loving mother and wife, who wrote 'sleep on dear one, until we meet again' – a mother no doubt already met, and a wife perhaps an elderly lady now, looking back on another life, perhaps another family.

Little children laugh and play on the grass beside the rows of graves.

Most moving perhaps though is the fact that these graves are still cared for, and fresh wreaths laid at the cemetery gates. By whom?

Yesterday the European Parliament voted to allow Albanians to travel to the EU without obtaining a visa. It's not the final decision, which presumably has to go to the Commission and Council of Ministers. But it was enough to make it a good day in the Oxfam office here.

I don't know how the British MEPs voted, but I would have challenged any of them to stand before these well tended graves of young British men dead these 70 years, then vote against Albanians.