It's 100 years since the First World War began and OK, it was a huge and traumatic event. Both my grandfathers fought in the trenches and one nearly died from his wounds. My maternal grandfather may have avoided physical injury, but I don't know what it did to him mentally. But there has just been too much war commemoration this year for my liking and increasingly the Remembrance commemoration is in danger of turning into a jingoistic celebration of militarism.
When the Royal British Legion celebrates the success of its poppy day by saying things like:
"For seven hours, more than 100 serving personnel, veterans and volunteers braved the bad weather to collect thousands of pounds from the public. The Legion’s Poppy Appeal campaign funds direct welfare and support to the Armed Forces community and this year is focused on Forces families."
and support the article with photos of kids carrying giant poppies and wearing t-shirts saying, "Future Soldier," they are not having a penny more of my money. Ever.
In the past, the British Legion fund raising has supposedly been for ex-service men and women injured in war. This seems like a definite shift to supporting currently serving Armed Forces personnel, who if they need care and support should bloody well be cared for and supported by their employers, ie the government.
I used to see Remembrance Day as poignant and a reminder that it shouldn't ever happen again, but recent governments seem increasingly happy to drag us into yet more wars, so what, exactly, are we remembering?