Protest Through Remembrance?

Another November 11th has passed, and another Remembrance Sunday observed.

But things seemed a little different this year. For as long as I can remember, the number of people wearing poppies in early November has seemed to decline each year. Why? Well, memories of world wars become more distant and attitudes to conflict and nationhood have certainly changed as generations move on.

But this year, more poppies seemed on display, and on the lapels of a younger generation. I’ve been puzzled by this. What’s changed all of a sudden?

Newspapers show their Remembrance Day front pages as always, but beneath the photos, they write less of the past and more of the present. They tell stories of the struggles that today’s service personnel endure. They criticise our government for the wars they have taken us to, and the way they have equipped and treated their soldiers.

So were the poppies worn last week worn by a younger generation as much out of protest as out of remembrance? I think maybe they were.

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