Monday, 14 November 2011


Don’t you think it’s really sad that everyone doesn’t mark Remembrance Day?
It deserves to be remembered.
Not the wars and all the political nonsense. Just the people whose lives got wasted in the process.

Remembrance Day may be British in origin, but now it’s marked all over the world – it’s a time when people remember people whose lives have been lost in conflict. Those millions who believed in something enough to fight for it, or who loved someone enough to try and protect them, or who in some other way felt it was necessary to put their lives on the line. Remembrance Day isn’t about the issues, or the rights and wrongs, or the bloody politicians and profiteers – it’s just about remembering the ones who died sooner than they should have done.

But you’d go a long way to see anyone wearing a poppy in Ireland.
Like a really long way.
I think that’s woeful.
Everyone thinks primarily of the two World Wars in connection with Remembrance Day. Well, 60,000 Irish died in the two World Wars alone – and there was no conscription, they were volunteers. And they weren’t fighting for Britain, they were fighting against something else. You’d think someone would care enough to wear a poppy for them.

And what kind of travesty was that last week? A popular Irish radio station making much of it being the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of the 11th year – without a mention of the deeper significance that that particular moment carries for millions of people.

Get your act together Ireland. If your new President can make it his first official duty – to lay a wreath on Remembrance Day – then I reckon it ought to be possible for the Irish to pin on a poppy – or start their own version of poppy day. Even if it’s just a way of clicking ‘Like’ to say we’ve grown up enough, one day a year, to see beyond the politics to the human stories that are the stuff of life. And loss. 

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