During my November Reading Week at Sussex, I took the train up to Birmingham (don’t pronounce the ‘h’, it isn’t Alabama) and Ludlow to visit family friends. On my way back to Brighton, I stopped in London on Remembrance Sunday. All that week people were wearing paper poppies to commemorate the sacrifices of the armed forces. Poppy wreaths and little wooden crosses were also placed outside Westminster Abbey and the Cenotaph at Whitehall. I remembered back in primary school in my British school in Oman that we used to buy paper poppies during Remembrance Week.
It struck me that even though England has been far more anti-war in Iraq than the US, they remember their fallen better than we do. Perhaps they are more commemorative and more anti-war because they’ve experienced war first hand. They know what it’s like to have their cities bombed and lose people not just abroad but on their own soil.