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Letter to The Guardian on Rememberance
Very very sorry, fouled up the link. The letter was published on saturday and says...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.The public are being urged to wear a poppy in support of "our Heroes". There is nothing heroic about being blown up in a vehicle. There is nothing heroic about being shot in an ambush and there is nothing heroic about fighting in an unnecessary conflict.Remembrance should be marked with the sentiment "Never Again".Ben Griffin (Northern Ireland, Macedonia, Afghanistan, Iraq)Ben Hayden (Northern Ireland, Macedonia, Afghanistan, Iraq)Terry Wood (Northern Ireland, Falklands)Ken Lukowiak (Northern Ireland, Falklands)Neil Polley (Falklands)Steve Pratt (Dhofar, Northern Ireland)
"there is nothing heroic about fighting in an unnecessary conflict"damn straight
The poppy campaign is to raise money for the British Legion. The money is to care for those injured in conflict, and/or the families of those injured or killed. I see nothing to protest about there.Soldiers don't decide whether conflicts are 'necessary' or not. Only politicians and Guardian letter writers have that luxury.
No, but that isn't the point at all, the point is about trying to wrest the meaning of the poppy and the appeal back securely to what you're talking about and away from those who promote the positive connotations of heroism. Is there a problem with asking for there to be a focus around the idea that poppy sellers don't want to be selling poppies forever into the future because they don't want there to be victims of conflict to collect for? You can be for the troops and against the war and there is a disquiet about the celebration of militarism that surrounds the outstanding work that the British Legion do. The soldiers who write the letter are expressing that disquiet and I wanted to share that.
My reason for the post and acknowleding Armistice Day is to acknowledge the sacrifice that my grandfather's generation made (1914 - 1918) and my uncle's (1939 - 1945). Both were lucky enough to have survived, my grandfather fought at the Somme and Ypres and managed to live through the whole madness, unlike a few of his family and many of his friends.A few weeks ago I received a video clip of the 2 minute silence nonsense from a representative of the British Legion with a blurb about all of the celebrities who were endorsing it. I think the irony of stating that Camron who voted for the slaughter in Iraq had endorsed the campaign was lost on them. I replied, politely giving the reasons why I would not be posting their video to which I have yet to receive a reply.I was going to do a post later in the month about this and also the sickening designer poppies on the X Factor and so on. But today, for me should just be about remembering those who had made a sacrifice that I cannot comprehend making. I'm not sure if I was alive in either 1914 or 1939 I would have been brave enough to enlist. But I am glad that others did step up to the mark especially in 1939 n for that reason I will respect their memory today.
Apologies if I've derailed this at all - I agree absolutely with your sentiments.
No apology needed Adam, all comments appreciated. I am really pissed off tonight after hearing on the news that they had the Saturdays playing an Armistice Day event in London. What the fuck is that all about?
I'm fairly sure that you would have been brave enough to enlist Drew.Celebrity and showbiz hype is for the shallow, short-termist morons.I have been out on a poppy stall this November - and I must say that my experience of ordinary folk has been nothing but fabulous.Whilst doing so, I've worn my medals for the 1st time in my life - and I'm still somewhat uncomfortable about that. The word 'hero' is certainly vastly over used these days. I was never particularly brave in the literal sense; just hard-working, trustworthy and loyal.I've been so heartened by the huge number of people who stop by to make a donation, or just chat. Dont get me wrong, I certainly haven't made it a social experiment, but I have been taken by the large cross-section of society to whom wearing a poppy is clearly a priority. Old ones, sure ... but also the young. Skinheads, punks, students, left wing, right wing, blacks, Scots!, asians .. and yes, even Muslims! Of course I was happy to see them all. And why not?I think it's the number of youngsters coming up to me that thrilled me the most. A beautiful 6 year old girl came up to me and said,"Hello. My name is Poppy. Can I have a poppy and a hug please mister?"Love and peace.
a little late. Yesterday I visited the Shrine in Melbourne. An amazing place and a sobering memorial to all the wars. I was the only person there at around 7pm and was lost in thought for a good 30-40 mins. Hearing this music brought a tear to my eyes. I'm not sure what to think about war but I certainly applaud the sentiments of the soldiers who wrote into the Guardian - those that serve deserved to be supported and remembered. As for a poppy for Poppy that just about set me off again. Thanks for posting - this was just about perfect.
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