Remembrance

Discussion in 'OFF-Topic / Misc.' started by conkerking, Nov 6, 2009.

  1. conkerking

    conkerking Member

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    #1 conkerking, Nov 6, 2009
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2009
    Bit OT for me this, normally all I have anything to say about is to do with sticking plastic Spitfires together (badly).

    Terrible, terrible news from Fort Hood this morning, right on the heels of five British soldiers murdered by a policeman they were training in Afghanistan earlier this week, with the death toll there and in Iraq (where Britain is no longer involved) climbing every week.

    And of another era, lately my growing interest in WWII avaiation has led me to read about some of the sacrifices made by young men serving in RAF Fighter and Bomber Commands, thousands dying in dreadful circumstances in the service of their country and of liberty. If not for them (and many others), Europe might be a very different and much less pleasant place today. I visited an airfield recently, the former RAF Wickenby in Lincolnshire, which was a relatively minor bomber station during the war, but which saw 1,080 air crew leave and never return. Very affecting.

    We Brits don't really "do" the kind of overt support for members of the armed forces serving overseas in the same way as our friends in the US, or for that matter the same type of patriotism. The Stars and Stripes hanging outside a house in the States is commonplace, the Union Flag outside a house in Britain is unusual and often a sign of the wrong kind of nationalism. We're just a bit more reserved like that.

    What we do have is Remembrance Day, or "Poppy Day", each year, where the fallen of conflicts current and past are remembered. The date coincides with Armistice Day at the end of the First World War, and is symbolised by the poppy, which grew in abundance in the fields of Flanders and northern France, where so many young men died. The occasion is used by the Royal British Legion (through the Poppy Appeal) to raise funds to assist families bereaved by war and injured veterans. The visible symbol of support is the wearing of a poppy:

    [​IMG]

    This year they are everywhere.

    The two world wars were long before my time. I wasn't really old enough to understand the Falklands. The first Gulf War was something that happened on TV. With the more recent conflicts, and maybe my advancing years, I've become more aware of the sacrifices being made my individuals and families in conflicts where the reasons for their being there in the first place are a lot less clear than something as black and white as the clear threat of tyrannical oppression on our own and neighbouring soil. Not being a "big picture" sort of guy, I don't really understand all the issues involved in modern conflicts (and I'm probably not even aware of many of them) but as a family man I have a better understanding of the effects of individual sacrifice. Whatever the reasons for their being in these situations, right or wrong, these men and women are entitled to the unconditional material support of our government and moral support of their countrymen.

    I'm not a religious man, far from it, but on Remembrance Sunday I'll be putting on a suit and tie, wearing my poppy with pride, and turning out to the service at my local church with my family to show support for the young men and women involved in the current conflicts, and to remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in other conflicts in the past.

    It is the absolute least I can do.
     
  2. RabidAlien

    RabidAlien Active Member

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    We each remember and render honor in our own way, ConkerKing. The fact that you are showing your support in a world where a good portion can tell you when "Talk Like A Pirate Day" is, but not remember Rememberance/Veteran's Day (Veteran's Day in the US), is a huge leap in the right direction. Wear your poppies, bro. And shake the hand of a Vet. It'll do ya BOTH a world of good!
    :salute:
     
  3. Aaron Brooks Wolters

    Aaron Brooks Wolters Well-Known Member

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  4. conkerking

    conkerking Member

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    Just been reading in the newspaper about the female police officer who single-handedly brought down the Fort Hood killer, despite being badly wounded herself ("minor scratches", she says); courage comes to the fore in all kinds of incredible situations.
     
  5. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

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  6. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    That's very cool! The VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars) here in the States sells poppies for the exact same reason on Veterans Day (Armistice Day). I had not idea other countries did this or fully understood the significance of the poppy.

    Great post!
     
  7. conkerking

    conkerking Member

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    Likewise I had no idea it extended beyond Britain, but am delighted to hear it.
     
  8. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    On the 11th we have our remembrance day as well. Veterans day...
     
  9. conkerking

    conkerking Member

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    I had to explain the significance of the poppy to a German visitor in London last week, she had seen it everywhere and while in Germany there is Volkstrauertag the poppy symbol is not used. Obviously the topic has the potential to be sensitive, but her opinion was that the poppy should be used everywhere, because it's not about ideologies or beliefs, it's the remembrance of individuals.

    The dead are, after all, apolitical.
     
  10. muller

    muller Active Member

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  11. conkerking

    conkerking Member

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  12. Butters

    Butters Member

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    #12 Butters, Nov 7, 2009
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2009
    We certainly do understand the significance of the poppy here in Canada. Not only did a Canadian soldier write the poem that made the poppy the iconic symbol of the debt we owe to those who fought, but a portion of the poem is inscribed on our 10$ bill.

    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.

    — Lt.-Col. John McCrae (1872 - 1918 )

    Please don't take my post as being a criticism in any way. Before I saw your post, I was going to ask if you Yanks wore the poppy...:oops:

    BTW, I always used to buy my poppies from my WWII vet grandfather (The Royal Canadian Legion membership distributes the poppy in Canada). Since he's died, I wear two. One for me and one for him.

    JL
     
  13. conkerking

    conkerking Member

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    Nice.
     
  14. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    My mom always did, I always kept mine on the desk or in my car. This year however, I'll be wearing mine with pride.
     
  15. Erich

    Erich the old Sage
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    interesting guys I have always remembered my Familie both sides, US and German with a faded red rose, this time of year things going slowly into dormantcy it seem fitting. this has always stuck out for me, and on the 11th will be paying my respects to friends and living members of the Ww 2 age still apart of me, though they and awfully sad become fewer year after year
     
  16. pbfoot

    pbfoot Active Member

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    The Brit poppy looks better then the Canadian one IMO. I've bought about 6 this year they keep falling off
     

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  17. RabidAlien

    RabidAlien Active Member

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    I honestly can't say I've ever worn/bought a poppy....I've never run across anyone selling them. I've bought little American flags from the VFW, though, and proudly display a larger flag outside my house (except for this year...my old one was faded and torn, so I got in touch with the VFW here and they had provisions for dropping off tired flags for proper and honorable disposal....I REALLY need to get a new one!). I wish I'd thought of it, my wife just bought a couple of pansies for the flower bed. I should've gotten a poppy or two to go in there.
     
  18. Negative Creep

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    To be honest I didn't wear one, but I did donate. Only reason I didn't is that they just fall or get knocked off within a few hours anyway. No one should be forced to wear one, as that goes against the freedoms our soldiers fought and died for
     
  19. conkerking

    conkerking Member

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    I'm pretty sure nobody is :)
     
  20. RabidAlien

    RabidAlien Active Member

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    I was thinkin about goin to the local artsy-fartsy store (Hobby Lobby) and seeing if they had some fake ones. Those would last longer.
     
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