Chris Markiewicz's Blog
Every Monday – thoughts, observations and ideas that hold up a mirror to who & how we are


Remembrance Sunday was generally considered a fitting tribute to those that have fought for our country. The display of ceramic poppies at the Tower of London was also a poignant reminder of every one of our troops who never made it as a result of World War 1.

I think it’s absolutely appropriate to remember those that fought on our side during conflicts in the past, as well as those serving at the present time.

Yet, should it be just about our country, our troops, our side?

I wonder whether the ultimate gesture would be to think of all those who fought, whichever side they were on? I wonder if that could be a bold and powerful step towards a more peaceful future?

The vast majority of people who ended up in the front line did so with good intent – in order to protect themselves, their families and communities. That vast majority weren’t aggressors or warmongers but ordinary folk forced, as a result of the politics of difference, to go out and fight.

As such, no different to our own troops.

Whilst they weren’t honoured in the Mall on Sunday, I think it important we remember them also, and the losses they must have suffered in the name of national pride, religion or other reasons we go to war. And, what of the non-combatant victims on all sides? The dead, the maimed, the traumatised, the displaced, the bereaved…….

Ultimately, we’re talking about an awful lot more poppies.

2 Responses to “Poppies”

  1. Hi Chris!
    For me poppies are too romantic and risk sentimentalising war. I’d prefer papiermache skulls, perhaps made by millions of kids in school, moats filled with skulls, every skull unique, representing a real person. Even the poppies worn on jackets could be tiny skulls!
    My German grandfather was a surgeon at Verdun treating French and German wounded!
    All best

    • Jonathan – I think the skull idea would certainly bring the message home big time! I fear they would be considered too “in your face” where something like the poppy is a little more sanitised and unlikely to offend! On the one hand, much is spoken about the horrors of war, but on the other hand we keep the really nasty stuff hidden or, at least at arm’s length.

      It would be interesting if representatives of our former (and current?) enemies were to be included in the laying of wreaths in the Mall?

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