I am not a badge of honour,
I am not a racist smear,
I am not a fashion statement,
To be worn but once a year,
I am not glorification
Of conflict or of war.
I am not a paper ornament
I am more …
I am a simple poppy
A Reminder to you all,
That courage faith and honour,
Will stand where heroes fall.
“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
Churchill was concerned not so much that those who forget the past are condemned to relive it, but that the loss of the past would mean “the most thoughtless of ages. Every day headlines and short views.” – House of Commons, 16 November 1948
Perhaps Churchill’s most pertinent remark, after a conference in 1935, when Britain, France and Italy agreed—futilely—to maintain the independence of Austria, was:
“When the situation was manageable it was neglected, and now that it is thoroughly out of hand we apply too late the remedies which then might have effected a cure.
There is nothing new in the story. It is as old as the sibylline books. It falls into that long, dismal catalogue of the fruitlessness of experience and the confirmed unteachability of mankind.
Want of foresight, unwillingness to act when action would be simple and effective, lack of clear thinking, confusion of counsel until the emergency comes, until self-preservation strikes its jarring gong – these are the features which constitute the endless repetition of history.” – House of Commons, 2 May 1935
Prescient words. A reminder indeed to be heeded on this day of commemoration …