remembrance day

There's a small poppy below the Google Search button this morning, to remind us that it's Remembrance Day. Also, I get the day off work. Most people will not. The library is closed. The colleges and universities are not. There will be many grand ceremonies, and everyone will wear that bit of red plastic, and the public consciousness will be improved very slightly, on the level of a manicure.

I always thought we would be better off with a day of education, where the emphasis is less on the fallen-heroes business and more on taking a hard look at how awful the whole business actually is, complete with pictures of cities that look like graveyards and fellows with their faces blown off. Show us what it takes to make and deliver a proper bomb, and what happens when you drop it on someone's house. Tell us what's it's like to get shot through the neck. Yes, the poems and trumpets are fine, and that should all be part of it, but we should also know what it means to be on a burning ship at sea in the middle of the night. And that might actually accomplish something.

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