Thursday, November 09, 2006

Taken as Red

This sunday is solumn one in the Church year. It is the time when churches of many differing denominations partake in a civic duty . This duty being to mark the sunday closest to the 11th November as a time to remember all those who have died in warfare. The setup is useualy thus 1) A war poem along "we shall never forget" is read 2) A bugle/tape of bugle/ young person from local band plays the "last post" 3) A minutes silence at 11am during which... i) Some of the congregation look rather bored ii) Some of the congregation fiddle with the order of service/nearest child iii) Said child crys/ phone goes off iv) One or two people look dewy eyed into the distance v) The minister looks at their sermon notes for later vi) A small number go into deep contemplation and reflection on the moment So why bother? well because the United Kingdom has a thing for "remeberance sunday". It stems from a want, nay lust to remember the mass slaughter of the first world war. Afterall part of the act of rememberance was the idea of "the war to end all wars"... yet it didn't work as less than twenty years later the world was plunged back into turmoil and yet again there were more names to remember. Fast forward to the modern day and it is a day in which "the fallen" are remembered from all countries (though mainly the ones of the winning side) and all wars. This day has it's own symbol, that of the Red poppy. The Red Poppy is a matter of contention this year, as many years, as the debate between Red and White Poppy and (more fundementaly the day)what they are about. I must admit that I do not wear a red poppy. I find it associated with a glorification of warfare that I can never endourse. Therefore if I sport anything then it is the white poppy. I see that as a suitable way to remember those who have died but also a want for peace. Whereas the red poppy doesn't advocate peace as part of its being. Therefore I struggle to support the idea of remebering without proactivly doing anything to prevent future wars. But heck, I'm a namby pamby liberal guardian reader so what do I know.... For those who wish intelligent debtate then listen to this from radio 4's Today programme but also leave your comments here as well. If you wear one why , if you don't why not and if you are planning a service what do you intend to mark and "remeber" this coming sunday? Take care y'all john