A Red Poppy for the Somme
In a momentous week that has witnessed a constitutional crisis in the UK and political skulduggery to rival Machiavelli, perhaps the most important event of all was remembering that, only a hundred years ago, Britain was in a state of war with another European country. Our grandfathers were about to face the onslaught of the Battle of the Somme, the most fatal of all battles in the “War to End All Wars”.
A simple common red poppy (papaver rhoeas) blowing in the wind serves to remind us that many, many men gave their lives for our freedom. The peace , prosperity and personal liberties that our European generation has enjoyed until now was won only through the greatest of sacrifices that most of us in our modern lives can’t even imagine – the blood spilled by our forbears.
Our week’s events, when viewed from this bigger perspective, suddenly seem to be all about petty self interest and almost inconsequential. But we can’t afford to take the life we lead today for granted, things could easily be far worse. Intolerance is a slippery, treacherous slope and can at first seem quite innocuous.
Above all we should not forget what the European project was all about when it first started.
Just one little word....