Prince Charles, along with First Minister Alex Salmond, Prime Minister David Cameron, and a number of Commonwealth leaders who had been at the Glasgow 2014 Games attended the World War I commemoration ceremony. While the Prince of Wales might have been the chief guest, a Scottish Schoolgirl moved everyone when she recounted her visit to an unknown soldier’s grave.
Along with other dignitaries, Prince Charles listened in rapt attention to 16-year-old Kirsten Fell. She gave a poignant address at a special service of remembrance at Glasgow Cathedral to mark the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of conflict. Kirsten had attended a school trip to the battlefields of Flanders and visited a cemetery where 81% of the dead had never been identified.
Prince Charles later interacted with the girl owing to her emotionally touching narration about what she felt when she was asked to complete the task assigned to her class. Though the graves were unmarked, each one had a tombstone that mentioned other details about the conflict and the untimely death of a brave soldier.
Each pupil was asked to stand in front of one of the graves and imagine the soldier who was laid there, reported The Guardian. They were asked to imagine his name, appearance and personality – before laying a poppy.
Having done what she was told, Kristen said,
“As I laid my poppy on the headstone of my soldier and gazed out over the never-ending ripples of white stones, I suddenly felt so small. My outlook on life has never been the same.”
Upon returning to Scotland, she was chosen to narrate her feelings in front of a congregation that included Prince Charles. Unperturbed, Kristen took to the stage and said,
“If I remember, then I have done well and done my duties to those who loved him but have never been able to visit. I did it for them and didn’t only pay my respects, but theirs too. It was ‘really important’ that young people were involved in commemorating the First World War dead. The soldiers were so young; they were the same age as us. We could really relate to them. It’s the fact that those soldiers were unknown, and their families will never know where they are.”
After attending the ceremony, Prince Charles signed the visitor’s book and laid a wreath at the Cenotaph in Glasgow, reported Scotland Now. But perhaps the world will more prominently remember the address that 16-year-old Kristen gave, displaying wisdom that was far beyond her age.
[Image Credit | Scotland Now and Getty Images]