Killing fields are such a terrible waste

First published in Margo Grimshaw column Lancashire Telegraph: Photograph of the Author by , Lancashire Telegraph columnist

THE Poppy — is there more a evocative symbol?

Millions are sold every year and worn with pride.

But with this pride, there should, perhaps, also be a shadow of shame that so many young and promising lives are lost — and are still being lost, fighting battles, that will often be settled by the countries’ leaders talking round a peace conference table.

Surely, in this sophisticated, educated, age of instant, one-to-one global communication, a way could, and should, be found for disputes between countries to be solved in a more humane way, other than young men of one country killing the young men of another.

My father fought and was wounded three times in the First World War and I must say he never complained.

We once went to the areas where he had fought and he showed me the little bridge under where he had lain wounded for three whole days.

He fought for four years and was only 19½ when he was discharged having, like so many, joined up under age, taking the ‘shilling’ and not thinking of the danger, but only of the challenge and excitement.

He tried so hard, but failed, in dissuading my brother Tom from joining the Royal Marine Commandoes when he was 17.

Tom and I also visited the war graves In France and saw the vast expanse of fields covered with crosses, making us think ‘what a terrible, tragic waste’ and of the untold heart break to all their families.

It made us ask ‘why is the lesson never learnt that war is not the way’?

But, at the moment, it looks like we may actually be at that place, with Germany and France endeavouring to solve the supremacy and domination of Europe by monetary means — so we can only hope that the outcome is agreeable to all sides.

The trouble is, and I fear always will be, that the human race is extremely tribal. We don’t want to be ‘just a part of’, we want to be ‘us’ and that still remains the big barrier to world cohesion.

Comments (8)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

11:29am Wed 16 Nov 11

Sick of rip off says...

I totally agree it is such a waste.

I often wonder if those that died defending our shores could have seen what a state our once great nation would end in, would they have made such a sacrifice so willingly - I think probably not.
I totally agree it is such a waste. I often wonder if those that died defending our shores could have seen what a state our once great nation would end in, would they have made such a sacrifice so willingly - I think probably not. Sick of rip off
  • Score: 0

5:33pm Wed 16 Nov 11

Brian Todd says...

Having read you column I would suggest that YES there is a better symbol than the red poppy.
If, as you say, there could be a better way then the White Peace Poppy is a better symbol, not only remembering all the people who have lost thier lives or been affected by war but positivley trying to say War is not the way to settle things and we all should be supprting the movement for World Peace, idealistic as you column is, perhaps you could conmsider this next year instead of teh traditional red poppy?
Having read you column I would suggest that YES there is a better symbol than the red poppy. If, as you say, there could be a better way then the White Peace Poppy is a better symbol, not only remembering all the people who have lost thier lives or been affected by war but positivley trying to say War is not the way to settle things and we all should be supprting the movement for World Peace, idealistic as you column is, perhaps you could conmsider this next year instead of teh traditional red poppy? Brian Todd
  • Score: 0

11:19am Thu 17 Nov 11

Ken Shuffles says...

Malcontentment, fear and ignorance of our Self is what leads us to turmoil, denial, blame, aggression, violence, carnage and war.


.


When People have Peace, the world will be at peace. When there is Conflict outside, it means people don't feel peace inside. People talk about peace only when there is talk of war.
Malcontentment, fear and ignorance of our Self is what leads us to turmoil, denial, blame, aggression, violence, carnage and war. . When People have Peace, the world will be at peace. When there is Conflict outside, it means people don't feel peace inside. People talk about peace only when there is talk of war. Ken Shuffles
  • Score: 0

11:41am Thu 17 Nov 11

Ken Shuffles says...

People are more Complete than they will ever know, and within them, is The Greatest Truth, The Greatest Feeling, The Greatest Joy, The Greatest Beauty and The Greatest Treasure. Even their God, the Divine they are looking for is also there within them.


.


People go and look outside for their solutions.
People are more Complete than they will ever know, and within them, is The Greatest Truth, The Greatest Feeling, The Greatest Joy, The Greatest Beauty and The Greatest Treasure. Even their God, the Divine they are looking for is also there within them. . People go and look outside for their solutions. Ken Shuffles
  • Score: 0

12:48pm Thu 17 Nov 11

Joseph Yossarian says...

What's the plural of commando?
(clue: It's not a tomato)
What's the plural of commando? (clue: It's not a tomato) Joseph Yossarian
  • Score: 0

3:29pm Thu 17 Nov 11

Fat Flan says...

The last time anything white was flown was a flag waved by Argies towards the end of the Battle for Goose Green. It led to the murder of several brave Red Berets by the carriers. That insult is enough. Leave the Poppy alone.
Lest we forget. Fat Flan - former Royal Marine Commando.
The last time anything white was flown was a flag waved by Argies towards the end of the Battle for Goose Green. It led to the murder of several brave Red Berets by the carriers. That insult is enough. Leave the Poppy alone. Lest we forget. Fat Flan - former Royal Marine Commando. Fat Flan
  • Score: 0

11:54am Fri 18 Nov 11

Ken Shuffles says...

Really, The Poppy should be a symbol of Devotion rather than Death.
Really, The Poppy should be a symbol of Devotion rather than Death. Ken Shuffles
  • Score: 0

12:02pm Fri 18 Nov 11

Ken Shuffles says...

Death and Birth can be whatever we conceive them to mean. They are not the reality, they are the concepts.
Death and Birth can be whatever we conceive them to mean. They are not the reality, they are the concepts. Ken Shuffles
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree