My grandfather was Frank Trasler. He fought in World War 1. Amazingly, he went to war with his brothers and they all came home safely – two even met by chance on a battlefield in France. Too old to fight in World War 2, Frank became an Air Raid Warden in London. I have the cap badge he wore for that duty.
My brother and my wife both served in the RAF. Both have lost friends and colleagues in their time. When I wear a poppy I do so to remember the cost of war. It’s not a glorification. It’s not a call to justify the horrors, it’s a reminder of what happens when greedy, ambitious or idealogically suspect people make flawed decisions. It’s never these people who pay for their choices.
The War Poets rarely ask us to remember war as a glorious struggle. They ask us to remember that real people fight and suffer and die in wars.
Wear a poppy and remember.