Remembrance day is coming slowly but surely. And for my international readers, I'll explain to youwhat gave it away. Everybody here in England is wearing a red fake puppy flower on their coat. It's been a really long time that the poppy has been a symbol of war and its consequences, but it is after a canadian officer's poem thatn their red poppy took its meaning:
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders Fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders Fields.
- John McCrae
But I am not after the poem. I am after people wearing this plastic red poppy flower. This came after a few discussions with fellow students who were either proudly wearing it,or proudly defending the charity it represents. I started as my usual devil's advocate role to point out all the effects of this charity but I got badly attacked on my arguments and it pushed me to the point where I do now believe my talk ( I might later go on my self-corruption of the mind).
To state my argument simply, if you were a red poppy, you support the war. Obviously, stated like that,people get offended and react on the defensive. "Wouldn't you support someone who got mugged?" Was the first
rgument I had to put away. I hope that you are a smart reader and I don't need to go too much in details to state how ridiculous it is. An officer is not payed to get mugged, he is pay to mug people. "But wouldn't you support a fireman who got badly burn". Well of course I would think about it. But a fireman is not payed to kill anything but fire and bees (and then again, bees will soon be an endangered species). An officer is payed to got to war, and I don't approve of most wars.
Another argument is that a soldier doesn't make the choice to go to war, he is ordered to. I even heard " the don't know they might need help afterward". But ignorance is no excuse. Ignorance is rarely an excuse, especially for someone who enlisted to the army, I would consider him an ignorant doubled by stupidity. If the army accept such unaware soldiers, why would I support the charity of the ex-army members. But talking sincerely and not taking into account the different remarks I received, noone is stupid enough to enlist to the army without knowing they have chances to come back impaired by their experience. If they are not prepared to suffer the consequence of their choice, why did they enlist?
I have been told that I'm ignoring the consequences of war by not buying a red puppy. I'm not buying one because I am aware of the consequences and I don't want to support the consequences of it because I don't want to support the origin of these consequences. The red puppy for remembrance day started as the soldiers fallen in world war one. I remember them for being the victims of one the most horrible war in history. But I'm not going to be the one who will backup the soldier who says "To you from failing hands we throw/The torch; be yours to hold it high." I don't want soldiers to go to war and I don't want them to be back hailed like heroes. Most of them are not. And the charity support the living "heroes" because we, as a society, haven't considered all the effects of war. The government, representative of the people, should be there for them. I don't know what position people put themselves in with this red puppy. They directly help soldiers who went to commit themselves to horrible actions, and blame at the same their representatives who ordered the horrible actions. They find the power to honour the soldiers, but have no will to criticize with as much a high profile war.
"Wars will always exist" was the second argument given to me by the guy who told me I was ignoring the consequences of war and being inactive. Again, are you smart enough to see how he brought up an argument against real inaction ? Real inaction is following the public with this charity that has the highest profile in U.-K. Real inaction is not willing to change humanity for the best. We can fight war. War doesn't have to be a constant in history. Supporting the consequences of war, making it the norm in our society, is showing a deep lack of will to fight this foe of humanity.
I made my point as clear as I could, I hope it did strike someone. This red puppy is a real narcotic. It gives everybody a sense of belonging, a sense of helping the one in need, a sense of pride to have people fighting for us, a sense of pity for those who are wounded. But it doesn't make us dream for a day where we wouldn't need any red poppy. It doesn't make us think that if we change the ground this poppies grow on, they might be white someday. By the way, white puppy flowers are extinct here in England - no one will support peace anymore. So I'll burn a red puppy, in remembrance of the people who fought against war.