Every single fragile flower represents a person plucked from their lives.
I published this first in 2014, but, looking at the date, I thought it was worth another look.
And each flower’s loss is anguish, heartbreak and grief – wounds you couldn’t see.
That generation endured their pain, they could never forget.
On my way to see the Poppies at the Tower of London, I overheard a conversation.
“F***ing poppies,” the speaker was a teenage girl, all dressed up.
“Yeah,” said her friend.
“I know it’s about them that died, but really. Look.”
“Yeah,” said her friend as the queued to leave the station.
“F***ing people. F***ing poppies.”
One day, they’ll get it. Once their own hearts have ached for love and vulnerability.
But for now it’s fine. Our young people for the most part have no idea what growing up in a world defined by absences might look like. And that’s as it should be.
“Why do we remember?” My son asked last week.
“So it doesn’t happen again,” I told him, without really thinking about it.
Good question, my lad.
For me, it’s about the small things that might make the world a fairer, safer and more compassionate place. I’m reminded by the sea of red petals building a huge memorial that little acts of conscience can help to create a force for good.
The answer then is that I’m remembering the fallen and reminding myself to do a little bit of good if I can and how it might make a difference.