In this poem by Carol Ann Duffy, especially commissioned by Danny Boyle for the “Pages of the Sea” celebration for Centennial Armistice Day, the author suggests that there was no lessons learned by the “War to end all wars”.
Year after year as we solemnly gather round the cenotaphs to remember those who”gave up their world” do we leave our convictions as poppies on the wreaths we lay? Do we even value the our right to stand together, bow our heads and pray for peace when we are arguing with our neighbours, fighting within our families and conducting petty squabbles in the work place? Where does ‘peace’ begin? In the chambers of commerce, the halls of government, the heads of state? In the churches, synagogues, temples, mosques or other places of worship? In our county councils, community groups and our own back yards? Or, actually, does peace begin within our hearts and attitudes to others?
What will you do with your poppy? Wear it proudly from now until the last post and then discard it, or stow it away for another year? Or will we use it as a promise that this year, peace will begin with me?