Reclaiming Remembrance Day

Somebody got it badly wrong last year. This photograph speaks volumes.

Although fascinated by military history (and have been for many years), I can’t claim to have the deep family relationship with the UK armed forces that those who have gone to war or those whose family members have. Thus I have not personally experienced the losses and sacrifices that those families have who have lost loved ones.

The veterans who wrote into The Guardian last year stated:

“The Poppy Appeal is once again subverting Armistice Day. A day that should be about peace and remembrance is turned into a month-long drum roll of support for current wars. This year’s campaign has been launched with showbiz hype. The true horror and futility of war is forgotten and ignored...

Remembrance should be marked with the sentiment “Never Again”.”

I guess my concern is that the use of celebrity culture in this manner takes away some of the dignity of remembrance and commemoration for the losses in all wars.

I also have an issue with politicians not being held to account for the decisions that they make when sending our armed forces to war.  Warfare is a symptom of the failure of politics and of politicians. Yet we seldom hear any politician saying “We politicians have failed to resolve this issue – we have to resort to military force.” (At least not at the time they were ordering the military into action).

I hope that this year, and in future years we can restore some of the dignity of remembrance commemorations, as well as ensuring that politicians and policy-makers learn the lessons of recent conflicts.

2 thoughts on “Reclaiming Remembrance Day

  1. Alongside it not being compulsory for newsreaders and politicians (amongst others) to wear a poppy. I don’t mind donating to the British legion for the work it does in helping soldiers who have been injured in any war but probably wouldn’t wear a poppy of any colour (though in sympathy with the white peace poppy.)

    It should be about remembering how hideous war is even now, and how we (politicians, mostly) should be so very careful about committing men and women to fight them.

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