Another November 11th

The eleventh day of the eleventh month... And I find myself, more than ever before, uncomfortable with this whole remembrance thing. Like everyone, I feel moved and disturbed about all those who have lost their lives. But I feel repelled by the militaristic nature of it all and it's getting worse.

People in the armed services are people first, soldiers, sailors and airmen and women second. Why must the dead be remembered as if it's the other way around? Out come the medals, the regimental flags, the uniforms; out come all the awful cliches about "ultimate sacrifice", "doing his/her duty", "for Queen and country" and I feel steadily sicker.

I also feel as if I'm under some kind of obligation to let the thing go by without a comment. You have to wait to be Harry Patch (all 111 years of him) to be able to say it: '...Patch had no time for the Act of Remembrance on 11 November, an event he described as "just show business"' - this from the BBC website obituary.

Well, I'm with Harry Patch. It's show business and it doesn't speak for me. I'll do my remembering in my own way, without the gruesome panoply of the military nincompomp and uncircumstance, thank you very much.

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