8th November 2009

All the TV programmes in the last few weeks, English and French, have shown presenters wearing the ubiquitous red poppy - even the presenters on last night's Strictly Come Dancing. What few realise is that it was a French woman who developed the idea. Back in 1920 Madame E. Guerin saw a market for mass-producing paper poppies to raise money for veterans, their dependants and destitute French children. She assembled a group of war widows in N. France to make artificial flowers by hand and approached veterans' organisations across the globe to join the poppy appeal. And from there, the idea blossomed, so to speak.
Whether you commemorate Remembrance Day today or, like the French, at the 11th hour on the 11th day, it's always good for the soul to take a few minutes in your life. Few of us remember anyone who died in WW1, so I personally like to remember those in my own family who died during my lifetime. Unfortunately, by the time I was 24, as many as 8 family members had died - with many more since. If no-one remembers you after you've gone, what's the point of your life? So, here in our village, on Wednesday I'll walk to the tiny memorial in the central square and listen to the lone accordianist play La Marseillaise....allons enfants de la patrie..ye.., and realise my own mortality.
And then, from Thursday, I'll get on with my life. There's much to get done. I mustn't waste a second...

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