Friday, 11 November 2016

Lest we forget

Lest we forget...

Millions of Britons observed two minutes of silence earlier today as the nation marked Armistice  Day and paid respect to those killed in war.
People in offices, at homes, in schools, public spaces and at official events paused as clocks struck 11am to remember those lost in battle.
Remembrance Day was originally intended to remind us of the futility of war. The 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month which marked the time the Armistice was signed at the end of WWI, or, as it was known at the time, The Great War, the war to end all wars. Such was the scale of death and suffering between 1914-18 it was believed to be inconceivable that nations would again engage in such wasteful and destructive confrontation. In fact, The Great War instead turned out to be only the opening chapter of the most destructive and murderous century in the history of the human race. War became mechanized, industrial, and all consuming. No longer did armies simply face each other across a battlefield in ordered rows to slog it out until one side was victorious, entire cities and nations would be left in ruins and generation after generation of young men would be wiped out of existence. 
 Let is all remember what we do not seem to learn, that it is Politicians that send men and women to die, to go to war,so  that they can try and win unwinnable battles for them. We should remember never be intimidated by the media which sees the wearing of a red poppy as a test of loyalty,a definition of loyalty. Let us acknowledge all those people looking for alternative ways of marking and remembering the  dead, working for peace, day by day.
Let us remind ourselves how the wearing or not wearing of the poppy has been used to shame people who make the conscious decision not to wear one, or how to criticise, is to be bandied a traitor, as we are told  told time and again  that soldiers died for our freedoms. Lets not forget  either the families of the wounded or dead who are left abandoned, and the many ex servicemen who are left homeless to fend for themselves.
It's time to expose the hypocrites who sanction wars, arms sales and state repression while wearing a red poppy and uttering platitudes on Remembrance Day.
Let us fall silent to mourn the loss of ordinary men  and women who have died when they need not have. Let us fall silent  in  the hope that remembering  will prevent the tragedies of war and  and loss and work towards a time when it does not happen again. Let us fall silent to remember victims on all sides of conflict, orchestrated by all warmongering governments,
Let us reclaim the poppy as a symbol of peace not as a symbol of war.This is why I choose to wear a white poppy only, for peace and try to remember the dead of all sides, both military and civilian.The white poppy pays tributes to victims of all wars, including those which are still ongoing.War is mass murder, and we should remember  the  politicians of all sides that  should be held responsible and tried for murder.


" Peace cannot be kept  by force, it can only be achieved by understanding. You cannot subjegate a nation forcibly unless you wipe out every man, woman and child. Unless you wish to use drastic measures, you must find a way of settling your disputes without resort to arms."

- Albert Einstein ( from Militant Pacifist, 1931)

Futility - Wilfred Owen 

Move him into the sun -
Gently its touch awoke him once,
At home, whispering of fields unsown.
Always it woke him, even in France,
Until this morning and this snow.
If anything might rouse him now
The kind old sun will know.

Think how it wakes the seeds, -
Woke, once, the clays of a cold star.
Are limbs, so dear-achieved, are sides,
Full-nerved - still warm - too hard to stir?
Was it for this the clay grew tall?
- O what made fatuous sunbeams toil
To break earth's sleep at all?

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