The Tower Poppies

stickywicket
stickywicket Member Posts: 27,101
edited 22. Nov 2014, 15:51 in Community Chit-chat archive
At the risk of raising some hackles, I rather like Sheila Hancock's idea of running tanks over the poppies and shattering them.

They have looked stunningly beautiful as an art installation and therein lies the problem. They are more than that.

I had the same mixed feelings at Tyne Cot Cemetery, Passchendaele and at all the war cemeteries. They just look too pretty, too sanitised, too unreal, maybe even too sentimental. I find myself wondering what those young men would make of them, those who have a neat gravestone but no name and those who have a name but no grave other than the mud.

So, I do think a suitable, symbolic ending would now be to mow them down and destroy them as a harsh reminder of what war does to all that is beautiful.

Comments

  • theresak
    theresak Member Posts: 1,998
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    When we went to Tyne Cot, it was a terrible day - slush lying in parts, freezing cold, and a howling gale, all the paths between the graves were muddy. Somehow that made things less sanitised, which was probably a good thing.

    The day we visited Auschwitz/Birkenau it was a beautiful sunny day, clear blue skies, and it felt all wrong. Well, of course it was all wrong anyway, but you know what I mean, I`m sure.
  • barbara12
    barbara12 Member Posts: 21,276
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I listened to Sheila Hancock and agree with her and you sticky..she was brave to say it on air..but right..its seems to have become a thing to celebrate..or is it for the MPs to be seen there..I don't know, but I know war is a horrible thing and should be remembered has such..and not glorified..of course we have to remember the soldiers that gave up there lives..its so sad whatever way you look at it :(
  • Megrose489
    Megrose489 Member Posts: 745
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Just want to add my agreement to what has already been said. I think that destroying the poppies would send a very powerful message about war.

    As for personally wearing a poppy, I deliberately didn't wear one this year, even though I feel very strongly about the horrors of war. It's the first time I haven't worn one. It seems to me that wearing a poppy has almost become a fashion accessory for some, when we see TV personalities, celebrities and politicians wearing them from the middle of October.

    Meg
  • Slosh
    Slosh Member Posts: 3,194
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I also agree, I think the message has been lost in the beauty of the display. War is ugly, any war, and always results in a needless waste of life and pointless suffering.
  • mig
    mig Member Posts: 7,152
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    NO. Wasn't there enough carnage . Two of my great uncles have no grave just names on a memorial I like to think that the one my daughter brought me is for one of them and the one I brought my granddaughter is for the other one she knows about her great great uncles and has seen the photo that I posted on here. So my answer is NO. Mig
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,101
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Tezz – I agree. Mud seems more appropriate and blue skies wrong. And yet, I have very ambivalent feelings towards it all. I'm glad my uncle at least has a grave that is cared for.

    Barbara - “or is it for the MPs to be seen there”. I think there is an element of that and it's a further abuse of the poor men who died.

    Megrose – That was very brave of you. There has arisen a coercive, almost bullying aspect to poppy-wearing which seems very inappropriate. I found it ridiculous and a little nauseating how the Strictly personnel managed to find a strap somewhere on which to attach a glittery 'memorial' to the mud of battle.

    Slosh - “I think the message has been lost in the beauty of the display.” I don't think it's quite been lost but, somehow, the emphasis has changed, hasn't it?

    Mig - I was surprised at how many agreed with me. I'm glad you had the courage to be a lone voice of dissent. I think we're all in agreement about the carnage. We only disagree on how it should be commemorated. I just hate war being 'prettified' and domesticated, especially that war.
  • theresak
    theresak Member Posts: 1,998
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I would really like to pay my respects to an uncle who was killed in action in WW 2 , but he fought in Burma & died in the battle of Kohima. I found the military cemetery on the internet, found his plot, and like all the other war graves it is beautifully kept and maintained. They truly were the Forgotten Army out there.
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,101
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Burma must have been dreadful. I'm so glad you found his grave.

    I found my uncle's grave on the internet, one of very few from that battle. It's comforting, isn't it? The grave next listed was of a 16 yr old boy soldier.
  • LignumVitae
    LignumVitae Member Posts: 1,972
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I'm with Mig, I don't think they should be destroyed. I think they represent the beauty and fragility of all those lives. I think they should be taken down and some how distributed to all the cities, towns and villages around the country so they can be clustered somewhere and locally do the same thing - show the loss of life from each place. We have war memorials with lists of names but I think the poppies give you a visual impact of the scale of that loss which a list of names no longer really does.
  • theresak
    theresak Member Posts: 1,998
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Burma must have been dreadful. I'm so glad you found his grave.

    I found my uncle's grave on the internet, one of very few from that battle. It's comforting, isn't it? The grave next listed was of a 16 yr old boy soldier.


    It is comforting, Sticky, as when I was growing up, my mam used always to refer to him as 'Poor Jimmy, lost somewhere out in Burma.' For years I always thought of him buried in the jungle, so was much relieved to find he'd had a proper burial.
  • tkachev
    tkachev Member Posts: 8,332
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I can see what sheila Hancock was saying but I agree with Mig. I feel there is already enough destruction and vandalism and I really wouldn't want to add to it. We don't have to be made aware of the carnage that took place by destroying them.
    Beautifully tended memorials and graves do show that people care and are thankful for their freedom even if it was at such a dreadful price.

    My Uncle was shot down over Holland and his body never recovered but his name is on our home town memorial.

    Elizabeth
  • mig
    mig Member Posts: 7,152
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    There's comfort in seeing a grave well tendered and cared for and part of the monies raised will go towards their upkeep. Mig
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I'm with Mig. Like the lives they represent they required creation and care: unlike the lives they represent they will be sent to those who paid for that creation and will be given the love and care that the dead were denied. DD
  • coco67
    coco67 Member Posts: 2,374
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    although the poppies looked pretty the true representation is that they represent the blood/lives lost in war and each and every one of them is a life lost in the name of our freedom. as for the cemetery's and war memorials being so clean and well looked after that is all about respect, respect fully deserved by those who's names etc are on the memorials and crosses, those people have allowed us the luxury to remain speaking english and free, so NO no more destruction, the poppy has a very special place and meaning to many people which some people are lucky to not have to understand xxx

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