Sunday, November 12, 2006

White Poppies

I cannot abide war. I think that there are so few circumstances that warrant the killing of hundreds or thousands of people in an attempt to solve some problem. I do not want to belittle the enormous hardship and loss that has been suffered in wars in the past. I will not however support those who choose to fight, those who sign up to the armed forces in peace time with the knowledge that they will have to murder others.

When Tony Blair chose to go to war I tried to go to protests but I could not handle the aggressive chants and hate that was so apparent in the voice of the people. I realise that protest is incredibly important and I applaud those that can do it. I just cannot feel that hate and I do not want to be aggressive in my remonstration, even in the form of words. Instead I wrote to the prime minister and to MPs and I told them about the trip to the battlefields in Ypres and the Somme that I had participated in at school. I saw more graves than I could comprehend. We had a map of the area and red dots were place wherever there was a graveyard or a monument to unrecovered bodies. There was more red on the page than any other colour, you could barely see the roads or the fields for the dots. I cried and cried. It did not matter whether the graves were British or French or German. Each soldier had had a family, every grave represented a wasted life and the pain that the relatives that were left behind had suffered.

When I think of all the fighting that is still going on, all the people that are dying because of our countries actions, no matter where they are from I can hardly believe it. It is incredible that we still continue to use this level of violence to solve problems.


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