This is my 50th post.
As seems (and rightly so) to be the form in the part of the blogosphere I spend most time a big number post is an occasion for celebration. I had great plans for this to be the one where the whistles, bells, party hats and streamers came out.
There might even have been a giveaway; of course it would have to be something I loved so that if nobody else joined in I would be more than happy to keep it for myself. (Selfish? Moi?)
But 'workingmomknits' left a comment on Post #49 that asked about the significance of the poppy flower and November 11 so I am using this auspicious post for a much more worthwhile use of words. Simply put W.M.K., November 11 is like the US Veterans Day. Most likely it is why the US has chosen that date.
At the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1918 the ceasefire of World War 1 was officially declared. It was months before the war was officially over but the killing stopped.
So here in the UK at 11'o'clock on the 11th of the 11th every year a two minute silence is observed. Two minutes in which to be still and remember.
Officially it is to remember the soldiers of all the conflicts since the 1914/18. But I like to remember more
Remember the ones who died. Remember the ones who lived. Remember the ones who fought with faith and conviction. Remember the ones who fought only for their 'brothers in arms'. Remember the ones who ran away from the fighting, those shot for cowardice and desertion when they were simply young boys who cracked. I spend my two minutes thinking of the women and children who stayed at home waiting. Of the volunteers who joined up because it was a man's duty to protect and serve. Of the men and women who were conscripted.
During those two minutes, as the tears roll down my cheeks and the lump in my throat becomes more dense, I think of the old men laying a wreath in memoria to their lost friends, of the men and women serving now around the world. I observe the two minute silence because for me it is important to value the lives lost, whose ever they were, during the futility that is war.
The poppy is a simple flower. It will blossom anywhere, on any soil. It was the first flower to bloom again on the Western Front after the fighting stopped. Its symbolism is potent. It does not commemorate war but celebrates the value of peace.