- Will you be "remembering", this weekend?
He lost me with this little gem:
Such memorialism continues to distort Britain’s defence budget. It devotes astronomical sums to remembered threats and archaic strategies, such as submarine warfare, convoy protection, aerial dogfighters and manned bombers.
Absolute drivel.Posted 4 months agoCountZeroMember
We should not be remembering, but forgetting. Almost all the conflicts in the world are caused by too much remembering: refreshing religious divisions, tribal feuds, border conflicts, humiliations and expulsions. Why else but for memory does Sunni fight Shia or Hindu fight Muslim? India and Pakistan seem unable to get over memories of Partition. What ancient grievances motivated Myanmar’s viciousness against the Rohingya?
While this is certainly true, what are we to do about it? Most of these conflicts date back centuries, and is more often the case that by interfering in religious and tribal conflicts, the West just exacerbates the situation, causing the entities to join together to fight off the intruders then going back to their traditional internecine internal war. See: Sunni/Shi’a, as a claim example.Posted 4 months agoCoyoteSubscriber
I was going to write a piece about Remembrance Day losing a lot of its meaning but to be honest I can’t be arsed with the flaming.
Suffice to say, war is horrible. Lots of innocent people lose their lives in the most hideous way possible. Families are destroyed and countries devastated. We should be learning that war is not an option however when you’ve got a balloon-headed orange freak in the Whitehouse threatening another balloon-headed freak with annihilation then this demonstrates that as a people we have learned nothing.Posted 4 months ago
Remembrance Sunday isn’t some kind of partisan, nationalistic fervour though. He’s comparing something that commemorates the horrors of war and provokes a moment’s reflection on it, with half-remembered ancient grievances which are used to whip up popular feeling towards the opposite objective.Posted 4 months agoEdukatorMember
I can understand why Brits have a problem with rmemberance:
Invassion of Iraq on a false pretext
Stupid escalation in the Falklans
A series of embarrassing skirmishes in former colonies
Not that I’m saying other countries do better. So I’ll be there on Saturday as the veterans of Algeria, Afghanistan, a long list of African conflicts, the Balkans, various blue helmet missions file past, along with the gendarmes, pompiers…
Learn from your mistakes, better still learn form the mistakes of others. The day you forget past mistakes you increase the risk of making them again.Posted 4 months agochakapingSubscriber
That’s a really interesting piece and I find it hard to disagree with the core argument.
It’s not just the poppy fascism that’s become a problem with remembrance in recent years, it’s the way it reinforces an uncritical and self-satisfied image of Britain as morally right. Heroic even.
Things are a bit more nuanced in the 21st century.Posted 4 months agoWattyMember
It’s not just for the wars though. It’s for the current service people too
No it’s not. Remembrance Sunday is the Sunday closest to the 11th of November for a reason. The memorial at the end of the village originally only had the names of the lads who died in the Great War engraved on it, the names of those who fell in WW2 were added later. No other wars are mentioned. Active servicemen and women aren’t either. Surely that’s Simon Jenkins’ point?Posted 4 months agomunrobikerMember
I agree with pretty much everything he says. My wife’s American, and while their attitude to defence and ‘the troops’ is pretty grim, she finds our obsession with the world wars baffling. America has moved on (to 2001 at least) and put those wars behind them. The glorification of war like this, and the beration of those who don’t think war is a good thing and feel it isn’t something we should glorify is mawkish and a bit revolting.
I’ll not be remembering but looking forward to a future without war.Posted 4 months ago
No other wars are mentioned. Active servicemen and women aren’t either.
Our village service last year was well attended by active service personnel from the local regiment. An officer spoke movingly at the church and the personnel marched in the parade with the Beavers, Scouts, Guides etc
Although there was obviously a WWI aspect to the service, reading old letters from the front, there was also plenty of mention of current conflicts and reflections on our roles and responsibilities in the refugee crisis.
It all seemed very healthy to me.
I think there is a general movement to remember those that served in all wars, past and present, on any side.
Perhaps it is slowly evolving more towards a US style Veterans Day?Posted 4 months ago
The glorification of war like this, and the beration of those who don’t think war is a good thing and feel it isn’t something we should glorify is mawkish and a bit revolting.
Glorification? Rememberance days are usually sad, somber affairs. A chance to reflect on the evils that humans can do.
If you could hear, at every jolt, the bloodPosted 4 months ago
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,—
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori.hammyukMember
I’ve lost friendsPosted 4 months ago
I’ve lost comrades
I’ve carried what’s left of them back so there’s something for families to bury
I’ve also carried parts of what’s left of enemies back so there’s something for their families to bury
We lost 9 of a 12man fire team in one sortie
It’s remebering ALL who have and who will serve – it is most certainly not glorifying war.
“When you’ve stood in my shoes…..” springs to mind with people like thatmiketuallySubscriber
I can’t stand the poppy fascism and poppy pron (sparkly poppies on Strictly anyone?) and the assumption that anyone on TV in November without wearing a poppy is some sort of traitor. I’m a lefty liberal remoaner vegetarian pacifist.
But, like every year, I’ll be at the memorial outside out local church at 11am on Sunday. You don’t have to agree with war to respect and remember those who gave their lives.Posted 4 months ago
No other wars are mentioned. Active servicemen and women aren’t either.
Definitely not correct of several memorials or any memorial service I’ve been to. The far lower casualties in later conflicts are probably the reason there’s none of their names on there; statistically, there’s a far lower chance of people from your parish having died in those.
I’d suggest seeing tones of imperial superiority/glorification of war/British exceptionalism in the service of remembrance say more about the beholder than the content.
Mike, hammy and Edukator, good posts 🙂Posted 4 months ago
she finds our obsession with the world wars baffling. America has moved on
I don’t think that is true at all.
Both World Wars are still regularly portrayed in American-made film, TV and video games for example, and usually with far more glorification than a church service and readings of war poets.
One of the biggest films of 2017, Wonder Woman, was set in World War I and was far from sombre.
If you don’t remember the horrors then that glorification is all you are left with.Posted 4 months ago
I can’t stand the poppy fascism and poppy pron (sparkly poppies on Strictly anyone?) and the assumption that anyone on TV in November without wearing a poppy is some sort of traitor.
This. I noticed on Strictly (guilty pleasure) that they had poppies on their gym kit during the footage of them in training, ridiculous!Posted 4 months agogrenosteveSubscriber
It should be remembered, if not for the people who gave their lives or sanity to give us the life we all have, thinking we’re now too important or somehow above learning lessons from our past is unbelievably narrow minded.
IMO, those that remember the horror of war would do everything in their power to prevent it happening again. Those that don’t would risk it for financial/political/personal gain…Posted 4 months agomiketuallySubscriber
But once again, that’s a function of social media acting as a nutter lantern, rather than the actual service of remembrance.
My main issue with the service of remembrance is the religious side; it’s a shame that there aren’t accessible secular alternatives. I could do without the singing of the national anthem too.Posted 4 months agomilky1980Member
Will I be remembering? Yes. I have known people who have done their duty and not come back, my remembrance will be for them.
Will I wear a poppy? No. It’s been hijacked by the war glorifiers and celebrities (like the sparkly Strictly ones mentioned earlier) as a way of making it compulsory and also missing the point of the whole thing.
The whole point of ‘Lest We Forget’ is not to forget the dead but to never forget the futility of war and the suffering it invariably causes. There’s a reason the Great War (I hate the tag WW1) was meant to be the war to end all wars. We need to remember that even more now with certain countries gearing up for what could be WW3.Posted 4 months ago
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