Sunday, November 11, 2012

We shall remember them

Today is Remembrance Sunday and as every year a time for serious soul-searching for me.

I am forced to consider the stark truth of war and conflict, our (and my) part in it and what should be done about it.

I wear the poppy in remembrance of those who have died in wars across the ages, as well as to support the Royal British Legion, the charity supports serving members of the Armed Forces, ex-Service men and women (veterans), their families and dependants all year-round.

However, I fear the patriotism which so easily slips into this time of year. There seems a fine line between honouring those who have died in service to humanity and glorifying their terrible and untimely deaths.

Then of course  there are the questions and doubts about how right it is to be involved in conflict and war. Is there such a things as a Just War?
Whilst I am able to look at WWII and feel a sense of certainty that this was a right cause and perhaps as just as war as  I can think of, and even feel deep gratitude to those who fought against Nazi Germany, with virtually all conflict since then I cannot muster the same kind of feelings ...

Then there is the knowledge that not only soldiers die in modern wars, but countless innocent civilians too. Who remembers them?

So, as every year I wear the red poppy.
I wear it to remember those young men and women who have given their lives in service to their country and for all mankind.
I wear it as a challenge against all war and conflict and to pose the questions whether it is right to be involved, whether it is a just cause or whether there are other motivations at play.
I wear it to remember ALL who have died in wars and conflict - soldiers and civilians, people from all nations and religions.
I wear it in the hope that one day we will not need to wear red poppies any more ...

Perhaps I should wear a white poppy as well next year??

1 comment:

  1. Very profound and very balanced view. War of any kind is a nasty business even more so now because of the type of weapons available and frequently employed often unjustly and not Queensberrys rules. There are no winners but I was taught to remember the events and try and learn from them so that hopefully they do not occur in the future. This was always the underlying message that the elders in our family tried to pass on. Often though in reality we have to cope the best we can with those events and situations laid before us which a lot of those young people did. It is their unselfishness I remember.

    Take care