Bit different this piece. Remembrance Day and all that goes with it is a very deep and emotive topic. It has been with us for a very long time and it stands to represent the memory of all those souls who willingly made the ultimate sacrifice so that we could enjoy the freedoms that our evolution really should have brought us anyway. However, as we are all painfully aware our evolution has not only stalled, it is in reverse. Driven mainly by the hunger for money being greater than the hunger for peace. It really is as simple as that.
I have attended many Cenotaphs, not always on the day when the bulk of the population chooses to remain silent for two minutes and assume that it has done enough. I don't visit the bigger Cenotaphs on November 11th, due to a bad experience I once had at the main one in Sheffield - I have written about this elsewhere, some of you will know what I am getting at. If that makes no sense to you use the Email I will put at the end of this work. Let me just say that I now regard the main ceremonies as "street theatre" with no purpose other than being focal points for a generally disinterested media. There are on November 11th many Cenotaphs which are deserted, left to the chilly breeze and rain, I now find the ones in parks or by the village shops and go there. Alone with my thoughts and not at all interested in joining the politically correct scrum.
But, that is my personal choice.
Personal choice being the central theme of me sitting here and writing this. I can forgive and fully understand why the general public reacts the way it does. People have busy lives, have their own problems, and the bottom line is they all mean well. What other choices do they have regarding this issue? Later, I will provide one.
Robert Laurence Binyon wrote an ode to The Fallen, within it is a line "Fallen in the cause of the free", this sticks in my mind. I assume that the general public fit into the category "The Free" therefore I draw the conclusion that all those souls perished to provide us with Freedom, and in doing so they provided humanity with the biggest example of Honour in the entire history of the Human Race. Honour.
Every year now that "Honour" is, in my view, being diluted, there are various examples of this, such as the Poppy appearing everywhere that you look on our television screens.
Chat show hosts, weather reporters, racing commentators on and on it goes. Well meant but cheapening the whole thing. Much as I find that all rather tacky I will go along with it due to it undoubtedly boosting the cash that is generated in the form of coins dropping into tins all over the country.
If this all seems a bit unnecessarily picky, let me tell you something.
I once sat in a packed church, with my 21 year old son's body at the front, and his two year old son a few feet away from me shouting for his Daddy. He fell at Basra in January 07. That is now approaching 12 years ago. Since then I have keenly observed the way that the true meaning of Remembrance Day has decayed. This decay has to STOP.
Here is a thing. The United Kingdom is now the second largest arms dealer on the planet. For this to be the case a long and complicated path has been followed. Much forward planning and meticulous attention to detail, the stampede to sell WMDs to anyone who will have them has been driven by professional experts. Just take a cursory trawl across the Net and look at the countries the UK has been trading with in the arena of WMDs.
Just for political balance, do we really have to put up with those who took us to war in Iraq having the brass neck to stand at the Cenotaph on that day, with ashen faces and a poppy on their expensive lapels? Just to emphasise that, the main protagonist of our war with Iraq has been granted "Immunity from prosecution", what is that about? Who decided that this could actually happen? I have seen written statements from a former PM which cast enormous doubt on the validity of that awful decision. A former MP has told me to my face that documented evidence exists here in the UK that supports that former PMs viewpoint.
What part of "Fallen in the cause of the free" does this fit into? Do you actually believe that any of those souls would want these individuals there? Do I really need to write that if we are to observe Remembrance Day with any shred of true honour then such pedlars of war should not be present?? It seems to me that I really do need to be pushing my view. Whether or not my energies are being wasted is up for question.
The first thing I DO NOT want is sympathy. I have had more than enough of that. Hushed tones, handshakes, and all that , ashen faces, all count for nothing actually. This tide of cashing in on Remembrance Day is now a carefully managed PR exercise for some, a chance to project a "warm and caring" image to the global media.
All those souls, most dead at a very young age, would be disgusted. My question is this, do you feel their disgust? Am I really the only one?
I am not bringing this up on my behalf. I stand to gain nothing. Nothing being a common theme over the last 12 years. I have lost contact now with the other militarily bereaved people I used to know. You get to the point where it becomes harmful to keep on hearing others examples of things you thought only happened to you. However, I am sure that if asked they would all agree fully with my view.
So, going forward, or at least trying to, I need YOUR assistance. I am not prepared to allow this to carry on. It is plain wrong that multi millionaires with hundreds of thousands of skeletons in their personal cupboards should be permitted to hijack the honour of all those souls to make themselves seem all nice and sugary.
I will dwell on this for a short while, and then write to those who I think will listen. It is easy in my position to be seen as another "moaning" bereaved parent. I am not actually "moaning" about that. I am moaning about the cowardly and duplicitous use of Remembrance Day. My Email will be at the bottom of this piece. Please turn your yearly Two Minutes into four. Take two minutes to think of ways in which I can make my little campaign gain some traction. I detest the BBC and told one of their producers that they are the PR arm of the Tory party recently. Maybe I should not have done that, no doubt they will not be eager to be helpful now. I stand by what I said though.
So, if you have any ideas, or just comments, PLEASE contact me. Let's at least heap some shame on those who use the 11th November for their own ends.