Monday, November 09, 2009

Remembrance Day Parade and freedoms.....

Molly paraded with the Guides this year on the annual Remembrance Day Parade. She even got to lay a cross on one of the war memorials in the town. As usual the afternoon is a proud, though solemn occasion with the parade made up of brownies, guides, beaver scouts, cubs, scouts, army cadets, air cadets and veterans. A lot of people turn out to follow the parade and it's good to see all of these people choosing to be here, choosing to remember.

Now Molly's older she's actually questioning the reasons for parading. Which is exactly what she should do. We had a chat the other night about the events and the importance of Remembrance. The simplest way I could say it was that all of these men gave up their lives so that future generations might not have to. My grandfather went to war. Thankfully he came back. But because of him, because of all those who didn't come back, there's a much greater chance that I'll never be forced to fight for my country. Wars should be about freedom, should be fought because there is no choice, should be fought because they are the final recourse and should, when all is done, lead to a better world, a freer world.

And then I start to see all of the news about football teams being coerced into embroidering poppys into their strips and the teams that refuse to submit to public pressure being lambasted in the press. Or rather, the teams that refuse to submit to the hectoring and bullying attitude of the Daily Mail. So perhaps it isn't a case of respecting or disrespecting the soldiers in this case?

I thought one of the things we celebrated on Remembrance Day was the fact our grandparents fought for, and often died for, the right to be free, the right to dissent, the right to think for ourselves.

Wearing the poppy as a choice is a wonderful thing. Wearing the poppy because it's forced upon us is a complete anathema to everything these men fought for. And no amount of baying mobs or stupid facebook groups is going to convince me otherwise.

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