Remembrance of all those who died;
Who were blown to pieces,
Gassed and broken.
With bugle calls, marching,
Flags and fine words spoken.
But in among the pageantry,
Of all things military,
Lurks a dismal hypocrisy.
Those making the biggest roar
Are the very ones urging war.
The patriotic nationalists
With their ramrod backs,
Shoes so polished, uniforms in packs,
Reciting words of jingoistic hacks.
As the red and white poppies
Engulf a nation,
It feels less of a remembrance
And more a celebration.
I am nearly always uneasy with Remembrance Day. I don’t like the military uniforms. I don’t like the insincerity of so much of it.
The war to end all wars failed. We have not had a single year since in which there hasn’t been a war somewhere.
Wouldn’t it be great if we really remembered the horrors of war and all took a vow to never let it happen again? If all the nations in the world signed up to ostracise any country that resorted to war? If everyone agreed to apply sanctions to any aggressor?
Wouldn’t it be nice if we really remembered and agreed to put an end to this barbaric, destructive, uncivilised behaviour?
I don’t like this military pageant. It feels laden with hypocrisy. Yet I think it is important that we don’t forget how abysmal war really is and don’t forget its poor victims (the living and the dead, the paralysed and traumatised