Marja-Leena Rathje
Home ::: PEACE



Remembrance Day makes me angry
this glorification of war
this talk of 'heroes'
this 'conquering of evil'

My grandfather, father and uncles
fought in wars defending their country
They never spoke of the horror
the killing of brothers
the lack of choice in not bearing arms

Remember the commandment 'thou shalt not kill'?
Wear a white poppy
Peace not war
Imagine a world without war

Which reminds me, this is a good time to mention a wonderful site:
Peaceful Societies, Alternatives to Violence and War.

Marja-Leena | 11/11/2007 | 14 comments
themes: Canada and BC, Current Events


Hey, thanks for plugging my dad's site.

I think Dick Jones had something the other day about how these kinds of holidays were sombre affairs in the immediate aftermath of the great wars they sprang up to commemorate, but then over time became corrupted into events glorifying militarism. I'm not opposed to the idea of a Veterans Day, as we Yanks call it, but the patriotic bunting in which it is wrapped does get a little old. And of course the people with the most blood on their hands are always the shrillest in demanding reverence for the heroic dead.

Dave, your dad's site is worth a plug! I had read that post of Dick's and agreed totally. Like you, I don't mind commemorating our dead, like the grandfather and an uncle I never got to know, but not in a way they themselves would have abhorred. The people 'with the most blood on their hands' usually aren't the ones in the line of fire. Somehow, this day needs to be changed away from its present focus. Almost all the veterans of the two world wars are now dead.

I am with you, Marja-Leena, against the glorification of wars and their veterans. I lost many relatives in Latvia by wars which were forced upon them and which made my female ancestors refugees from the country which they had been born in and which they loved.

I do not have a white poppy at hand, but I will wear this flower of peace mentally because I am a pacifist.

I too am against war. Here in the UK Rememberance Day is all about sacrifice, and about the loss of so many lives. I have not seen any glorification of conflict at all in the ceremonies. We are also remembering those who died yesterday, and today, and not just in the two World Wars. I think that more should be made of the remembering so that those who die are not just ploughed back into the compost of convenient memory loss when the next excuse to go grab comes along.

I have been wearing my white poppy with pride for a couple of weeks, remembering all the civilians as well as those in the armed forces who have died in all the wars everywhere... and dreaming of a peaceful world

Thanks Olivia, Olga and Tall Girl for chiming in!

There are so many mixed messages and mixed feelings about this day, I think. Andy Borrows wrote thoughtfully and eloquently about this. Thanks to Lucy for sending me there.

How could any person disagree with you Marja-Leena? I share your thoughts and the comments made by your loyal readers are very meaningful. I recall a US Congressman during the 1960's saying: "War is diplomatic assassination to rid the world of scurvy - those people who wish to disolve our freedom. The ecomnomic gains far surpass the loss of life." I wear my white poppy to honor the courage of my Uncle Curt who chose to 'live and let live.' I thank you again for posting his true story!

Marja-Leena, thank you for writing this! I couldn't agree more.

Roger, thank you for reminding me of your uncle's story, which you wrote to me in last year's Remembrance Day post. New readers may wish to read it HERE.

Beth, I'm glad. I remember your stories from your younger days about trying to raise awareness for peace. The struggle still goes on.

Joan, thanks to you too!

Andy over at Older and Growing posted a very moving and though-inspiring piece about war and Remembrance Day. Both your and his two posts made me take off a whole hour to stop and think. Take a look at what he wrote.

Oops, I see that you already saw his post! Sorry!

Miguel, thank you for this, and for the moving comment you wrote at Andy's! Gaad, I wish we could change the thinking of the 'others', for I think we're just preaching to the converted here.