According to the Epping Forrest Guardian:
Events since his death say much about how as a country we do not do enough to commemorate the names and achievements of young men and women who make the ultimate sacrifice on behalf of the nation.
Georgie’s family are currently embroiled in a battle with their local town and district councils over plans to honour him by naming a local children’s playground, a place where he himself played as a child, in his name. Elements of the town council have approved and then withdrawn their support , leading to unedifying claims and counter-claims between both councils and Georgie’s family, as well as the local community. The issue not only does nothing for the reputation of local government but more importantly highlights the often half-hearted way in which we as nation recognise the contribution of our armed forces involved in current conflicts.
Whilst towns and cities around the country will remember those servicemen and women killed in Iraq and Afghanistan on Remembrance Day and on war memorials, it should not be beyond the capability of local authorities to develop new ways of honouring service. Whilst some councils have offered services of remembrance or given service medals, a more lasting tribute would be to embed the names of fallen soldiers to public places at the heart of their communities.
Such commemorations would not glory in war or human suffering but offer a quiet thank you to those who endure unimaginable pressure and difficulties in the name of serving their country. It might also allow grieving families a permanent recognition that their loved one’s sacrifices have been properly recognised.
I think Epping town council have forgotten just who it is they work for.
EPPING town council will be discussing the re-naming of Stonards Hill play area at their meeting this evening, but has yet again banned members of the press and public.
Councillors have faced huge public opposition after they decided to reject Mayor Ben Murphy's offer to re-name the park after Epping's fallen Royal Marine Georgie Sparks.
But they still refuse to allow other people to attend their meeting, stating that the discussion is confidential.
Georgie's friends and colleagues will be protesting against the council's decision in Epping this evening, outside St John's church at 7.30pm.
I'm all for this form of dedication. When kids ask their parents why their play area is called Georgie Sparks, he will be remembered. I think we also need to increase public awareness that Remembrance Day is not just for remembering the fallen of past wars, but to remember those who are falling today.