Red Poppies in Moffat

13 Nov

Remembrance Day in Moffat. To paraphrase Putin’s comment on the Soviet Union: anyone who fails to see that Britain’s wars – from WW1 to Syria – have been created by and/or pursued in the interests of Profit has no understanding. Anyone not moved by the sacrifice, less for an abstract idea than for comrades in arms, of the slaughtered has no heart.

The white poppy is for those uncomfortable wearing the red one, yet wanting not only to show respect for those cut down on the British side, but for all victims of war. Shame it hasn’t caught on. As it is I couldn’t but be moved by the sombreness under dour Scottish skies of the event, by the sincerity of faces old and young, by the thin sound of the bugle on Last Post, by a lone piper leading the procession away.

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2 thoughts on “Red Poppies in Moffat

  1. I watched a very similar, probably identical service in Keswick in the Lake District with my friend Mike. The roads had been closed by police officers creating a still space in which most people stopped and stood silently as prayers were said and the last post played.

    I say we watched rather than participated as we stood a little way back, with mixed thoughts but keying in to the solemnity of the occasion and wanting to show respect for those who had lost their lives and acknowledging the impact this would have had on family and friends.

    We both had a grandfather who had enlisted in the First World War and who had survived. Mike’s grandfather had been ( just ) too young to fight in France and later served in Ireland, no doubt a different kind of nightmare for a squaddie. After the war he returned to Keswick for only a short time before moving to Manchester. Mike surmised that it would have been difficult living in a small town surrounded by families whose menfolk had not been just too young and had not returned.

    My grandfather became an artillery spotter on the Western Front, crawling out into no- man’s land to track the fall of shells. Eventually his luck ran out and he was caught by fragments from a trench mortar and wounded too badly to move. Once darkness fell his older brother crawled out to find him and dragged him back – alive.

    Once the service was completed the roads were re-opened and it was business as usual. Mike and I walked round the lake in the sunshine.

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