I Stood For Two Minutes Of Silence To Honour The Ones Who Came Home

Hey everyone. Today is Remembrance Day. A day when we remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice in two world wars and numerous conflicts since including the Falklands, Bosnia Kosovo, Afghanistan and two wars in Iraq.

Whether or not we think those wars were justified or illegal is a matter for individual conscience but whether I agree with the politics of the Government who sent them to war I will always support the armed forces.

Both my grandfathers, my father and most of my uncles were called up to for national service and did their bit crown and country even though not all were supporters of the monarchy. It was just something young men in their generations and that is something I will never disrespect.

Nor will I disrespect the courage and bravery of my good friends and fellow poets Jim Craig and Sean McBride both of whom did 12 years in the armed forces and have written some brilliantly powerful and thought provoking anti-war poetry. As both of them have said to me on a number of occasions there is no soldier who actually wants to go to war. Both these men and so many others
deserve our respect and unlike the leaders
who sent them to battle are worth so much more than two minutes of our time.

However all of those mentioned in this post have one thing in common they were the lucky enough to come back home to the family and friends who loved them. So before indulging yourselves in a war of words over the rights and wrongs of wearing the poppy and discussing whether or not this glorifies war, I hope you spared two minutes of your time and remember them and the ones who did not return.

It is the traditional way of introducing the service with the words
At the going down of the Sun and in the morning we will remember them. I just hope we remember them all.

Love And Best Wishes
Gayle X


One thought on “I Stood For Two Minutes Of Silence To Honour The Ones Who Came Home

  1. Successive recent governments have glorified war & disrespected the memory of those who paid the ultimate sacrifice, particularly in WW1 and WW2.

    So many paid the ultimate price for freedom & yet in recent years freedom to dissent seems only a notional right.

    Over one million people marched against the obviously & clearly flawed second invasion of Iraq and yet our young men were sent regardless. This resulted not just in casualties to our soldiers but the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians. Many peoples outlook towards military action has changed since then, both in support & in opposition of the armed forces.

    To my mind there is no blame to the soldiers who fight where & when they are told to. They are brave men & women. But the narrative has changed from the authorities which has caused an adverse reaction by some parts of public opinion.

    For example soldiers are now referred to as heroes. The word has been used so often as to become meaningless. It has also served to dilute the role of true heroes who fought against impossible odds in horrendous circumstances in world wars.

    I watched a documentary on ‘help for heroes’ where a marine objected to being called a hero stating he ‘was just a soldier who stood on a landmine’.

    And so the narrative goes on. There is a justifiable reaction against it. It has polarised how we view the military, which is dangerous coming at a time of economic unrest. We have seen death threats made against a footballer this weekend when it was perceived that he didn’t play as he refused to wear a poppy. John Snow who coined the phrase ‘poppy fascism’ was similarly abused. The queens composer Sir Peter Maxwell Davies spoke of his distaste of the recent glorification of war & politicisation of the poppy. He now refuses to wear one.

    I find it odd that the government plan to spend at least £50m ‘celebrating’ the beginning of WW1 next year. A folly celebrating a folly if ever I saw one. Anyone can see this is an orchestrated diversion from real issues. A sickening jingoistic PR campaign at a time when soldiers are being made redundant just before retirement, to deny them of their rightful benefits.

    I attended a memorial service in Glasgow yesterday. Over. 170 former pupils had given their life for freedoms enjoyed by people like me. I can only imagine the horrors they faced and the grief their families suffered. I honour them without question.

    I reserve the right however to express the freedoms they bequeathed me in any reasonable way I see fit. To do otherwise is to disrespect their sacrifice.

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