I never wear a poppy on Remembrance Day, though I did at my father's funeral because he was a born soldier, in the most admirable sense of the word.
The hoopla around Remembrance Day always talks of "heroes", mostly those who were drafted and had little choice. I submit that it takes more courage to be a contientious objector than it does to do what your society expects of you.
By the logic of "sacrifice" that we are fed, the freedom-fighters in Iraq are far more heroic than our soldiers who died at Vimy and Normandy. This makes the whole day stick in my craw.
Sticking to the Second World War, which seems to me as close to a "just war" for the Allies as can be imagined, many Canadian, American, British and Polish soldiers among others, gave their lives heroically to stop Hitler and the other Axis powers.
Tomorrow, people all over the world will get misty-eyed about soldiers, including those who died for nothing in Vietnam and Iraq. We will glorify all soldiering as equal. To me, this is an insult to all who fought in just wars, a whitewashing of a system that sends young men and women to die so that chickenhawks well away from the battlefield can make themselves richer.
I can feel the blie rising when I think of Bush mouthing sanctimonious platitudes about how we should remember the fallen and I think of those millions of luckless souls who died rotting in the trenches of the war that was "To End All Wars"
A similar view can be found in:
Why I Don't Wear a Poppy (external - login to view)
And while I don't share the radical pacifism of the author, I do agree with this:
Sadly, the poppy acts more as a rallying cry to support military solutions to the world's problems, instead of a heart-felt and genuine plea for an end to the suffering of war.