Thursday, 11 November 2010

Remembrance Day

I have spoken about Remembrance day before especially on what I see this day meaning. And previously the message has been a direct copy and paste/p>

But this year I feel there is more to add.

I am wearing a poppy today. I did observe the 2 minutes silence. But, increasingly, I understand why some people haven’t, though I am not and do not see myself ever joining them.

It is disturbing to see pro-war and war-supporting politicians “wearing their poppy with pride.”

It is disturbing to see… well, Remembrance day festivals. Parties, almost celebrations.

I’m not against Remembrance day gatherings and organised events – but not celebrations. Not parties. And most certainly not “lookit the shiny guns and tanks and planes”. And I am certainly not going to wish you a “Happy Remembrance day”.

This is not a happy day.

This is a day of grief. Of Remembrance. Of horror and deep, abiding sadness and, yes, anger at the horrendous waste and horror of war

This is not about honour

This is not about glory

This is not about celebrating victory

On the 11th hour of the 11th day of 11th month 1918, the Armistice was signed ending World War 1, this is why we use this date. A war that had killed an unconscionable number of people. It was not the last war and it was not the end to obscene loss of life for human greed and human hate and human failing.

This is not a celebration. It is a Remembrance. A Remembrance of all of the untold millions who have died unnecessarily, wastefully, obscenely – a remembrance because we keep forgetting and we keep doing this shit over and over and over and over again.

I hate to see this day changing – this, of all things, cannot be forgotten.