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...
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.