Remembrance day needs more work to truely remember

November 14, 2010 § Leave a comment

 

I didn’t buy a poppy this year. Usually I buy one mainly for my grandad – he fought in World War Two and lost several members of friends and family. He is no longer with us, but I buy one in memory of him.

This year, I made a donation instead to a different charity – to the charity War Child, which does pretty much what it says on the tin. I don’t have anything against the Poppy Charity. But I resent the glorification of war – and I don’t think we think enough here in the UK whether we are remembering the right things. I don’t want to forget the freedom that was fought for. And I think what we really need to remember today are countries that don’t have that same freedom.

On this remembrance Sunday, I’d urge you all to remember the people nobody remembers, who don’t have memorials, and don’t get pages in the press. The thousands of women who have been raped in the civil war in the Congo  – the estimated 108,000 civilians killed since the beginning of violence in Iraq. More than 600 civilians killed in civil war in Liberia this year alone.

War Child says it “looks forward to a world where the lives of children are no longer torn apart by war.” The charity works in DRC, Uganda, Iraq and Afghanistan, with children who have been raped, abused, abandoned, orphaned, forced to become child soldiers, prostitues, beggers. I don’t have any problem with Remembrance Day. But please, let’s widen the remit to remember everyone who has suffered and sacrificed in wars worldwide – not just in the Western world.

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