As I drive around admittedly small parts of our green and pleasant land, it seems to me that more people have remembered Remembrance this year than ever before. In my own village, giant poppies are displayed around the green, as they are in many other places. Only yesterday, I drove through Charfield and was genuinely moved by what I saw. Poppies were everywhere, placed with love and thought. It was quite beautiful.
It could be that it is 100 years since Armistice Day in World War One. Or it could be that the importance of remembering those who died in armed conflict are finally getting the national recognition and acknowledgment they so richly deserve.
I have done to death my own personal reasons for remembering at this time of year and my firm belief that Remembrance, and everything goes with it, including wearing the poppy, is a personal matter. No one should have to explain why they are not wearing a poppy because if you think they should, what was the sacrifice for? Essentially, it is all about the freedoms we enjoy today.
People are free to attendance Remembrance services, too. I choose not to attend organised services because I spend that time privately, in my own thoughts, thinking of those who went before and those in my family who almost didn’t make it through the wars.
Remembrance should not be a time of hate and division, as we saw at a particular football match last weekend. The heroism of our armed forces should always be remembered respectfully, as a unifying force. It is not a time for faux anger about who is and who isn’t a poppy wearer and who cares more about the fallen than anyone else.