Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Let us Remember, Not Judge

(from previous blog - 11 November 2011)

Welcome to a special remembrance day, 11-11-11. I have been saddened by many recent attempts to politicise this occasion and its associated symbols. From the extremist "poppy burners" for whom I have nothing but contempt, to the dilemma that now seems to face anyone who appears on television as to whether to wear a poppy. It seems that if they don't, they are accused of not caring, and if they do, they are accused of giving in to political correctness.

It must be a personal choice and should never be judged by others. Personally, I have not been wearing one, but I have donated willingly to the fund and have my poppy sitting on my desk as I type, to remind me. As you know, I have a particular interest in all things military and as a result no-one takes remembrance more seriously than I do, and like most people my family has been touched by war over the years. I choose not to display it, but if others wish to, then full respect to them for it.

The significance of today is nothing to do with political causes or ideologies. Like most, I have my own opinions about what our armed services have been asked to do in recent years but today is not the day to debate them. Today is simply about remembering the millions of people from around the world who have in the past right up to the present day made the ultimate sacrifice in the service of their country. Whether or not you agree with what that country was or is doing at the time is totally irrelevant. These are men and women who in most cases were following orders and knew that by doing so they were risking their lives. Not being in the military myself I have little comprehension of the strength of character that it takes to do that. They deserve our respect as people, and that is what today is about.

So what we are remembering is the human angle, not the political one. And we are all human, after all. However, if anyone attempts to interfere with the dignity of those of us who choose to remember then I question whether they can be included in that category.

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