Monday, November 12, 2007

Remembrance Sunday

I am profoundly ambivalent about Remembrance Day. My father's family, like most British families, lost many men in the two world wars. My grandfather served during both wars, in the navy, having lied about his age to join up in 1914 (he was fourteen). Even at my most ultra-left, I always felt it was important to honour the working class people who were sent to die for their country.

Listening to some of the ritual from the centotaph on Sunday, though, I found myself getting angry at what seemed largely to be a celebration of the British royal family, as one after another member of that dyfunctional family was paraded before us, their subjects. (The day before, I had a conversation with Comrade Transpontine about Orwell's famous likening of England to a "family with the wrong members in charge.") I wish that I had - as in most years - just given myself a couple of minutes of private reflection.

Richard listened to the whole ceremony, and reacted very differently; maybe I should have kept the radio on.

A range of perspectives from the Contentious One, Dave Osler, Pickled Politics, Eugene P, Flesh is Grass. Featured link: Aftermath.

P.S. I missed this from Jim.

Last year's post (also linking to Dave Osler's piece), complete with soundtrack, here.

Related: Remembering 7/7, St.George's Day, Walthamstow anarchist honour the war dead.

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