Here in South Africa we're approaching 11am, on the 11th of November 2011. 11-11-11-11.
As a child I still remember wearing a poppy on Remembrance Day. That tradition has long since fallen out of fashion, and slowly out of memory too. I find this sad, as I think we need more days where we're urged to think of peace in our world, rather than less.
Why this day?
On 11th November 1918, at 11am, the armistice agreement was signed, ending the first (and what many hoped was the last) world war. Sadly, we now know better. War is still all around us, perhaps even more than ever, and certainly we're more aware of it thanks to media and the diminishing size of our world.
Why the poppy?
In the surprisingly evocative words of Wikipedia: "These poppies bloomed across some of the worst battlefields of Flanders in World War I, their brilliant red colour an appropriate symbol for the blood spilled in the war." As far back as the Egyptians, the poppy signified life and fertility, and for its sedative medicinal qualities it's also the flower of sleep. Life and death all rolled into one simple flower.
So today, I'd like to ask our blog readers to consider the significance of this day and to suggest ways in which we might each be able to bring a little more peace and a little less war into our world.
My suggestion, to get the ball rolling: teach the next generation to revere life.