Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them".
I don't wear a poppy, I don't give money to the Earl Haig fund (as my dad put it, "I won't help salve a murderer's conscience"), I donate money to the veterans hospices directly. I have never fought in a war, I have never lost a relative through armed conflict. I have no one name to focus on during remembrance day, I have them all.
I do remember my grandpa, the man who drank too much, the man who if his football team (Rangers) lost would come home in a foul mood and hit his wife, the man who spent the latter part of his life never apologising but trying in his own way to make up for what he did. I remember that man falling silent at eleven o'clock every Rememberence Sunday.
I remember that man refusing to eat rice.
He served in the merchant navy in Asia during the latter part of the Second World War. He never talked about what he saw out there, definitely not to his grandkids, but he wouldn't eat rice.
So I observe the silence today, I do it every year. I remember my grandpa, a man broken by what he saw.
But I won't wear a poppy.