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PUBLISHED: 12:32 09 November 2006 | UPDATED: 11:11 06 May 2010

Remembering the horrors of war

Remembering the horrors of war

I COULD almost forget the rest of Last Word this week and leave you with one short sentence: please go along to a Remem-brance Sunday parade. Because that is the message I really want to get across. Life today is busy, almost frantic for most of us, and f

I COULD almost forget the rest of Last Word this week and leave you with one short sentence: please go along to a Remem-brance Sunday parade.

Because that is the message I really want to get across.

Life today is busy, almost frantic for most of us, and free time is rare and cherished.

Sunday is likely to be cold and possibly even wet.

Standing outside for half an hour or an hour therefore won't be much fun, but in my opinion it really is a small thing to ask as a gesture for all those who have been killed or injured in conflicts around the world.

My family and I have always done our best to turn out for a parade, not least because both my grandfathers fought in the war.

The reason I feel the need to ask other people to go along is because I can see our links with the generations who have fought in the two world wars weakening as time goes by.

I grew up with the stories from my grandparents, but now, sadly, the number of their contemporaries left with us is dwindling.

What about the next generation, my generation's children, who have no one left to tell them about life in the wars?

There is a school of thought, I guess, that maybe it's not that important to learn about old wars, about their pain, and that maybe we should move on from that.

But we only have to look at the news this week to see why it is important not to forget the true horrors of conflict.

This was the week, of course, when Saddam Hussein was sentenced to death, when we have raked over, once again, all the trauma that is associated with the situation in Iraq.

Whatever your views on his sentence there can be no denying the statistics which show us that we've made a right old mess of the country, where 600,000 lives have been lost since we invaded.

Clearly George Bush and Tony Blair had forgotten the lessons which the Second World War could have taught them, of just how horrific military conflict is, whichever banner it parades under.

How quick they were to visit upon the Iraqi people occupation, bloodshed and fear.

I have no time for the white poppies which are mentioned at this time of year, the ones which say that they are supporting a campaign for peace, because they are entirely superfluous.

By wearing an official red poppy, and by going along to a Remembrance Sunday parade, I am not saying that I support war - quite the opposite.

I am saying that people have fought - and died - in wars and I intend to remember that, in the hope that in remembering we learn.

Please go along and do the same.

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