At 11 o'clock today, the eleventh day of the eleventh month, I was reminded by the radio to spend a couple of minutes remembering all those who died in war.
I am lucky not to know anyone who died as a direct result of war, but I can be mindful that so many people, both soldiers and citizens have died as a result of war in this century alone. I appreciate that if a country is being invaded it is the duty of its government to protect its citizens from the horrors the invading army might wish to perpetrate. I can't think of any other good reason for war.
I think it is quite possible that if we all try to live in ways that promote peace and eliminate the need for conflict it could make a real difference. If we talk to people of different races, religions and political persuasions and try to understand why they do things differently from us and think differently about some things, as well as find out how much we have in common with them, then perhaps there would be less to fear from those who are not exactly like us.
If we could live less extravagantly and use less of the things people start wars over such as oil, perhaps that would help reduce the need for our government to invade other countries to secure access to precious minerals and other resources.
If there was less of a gap between rich and poor in this country as well as globally there would be less unrest.
I bought a poppy this year, because I would like to support those maimed and wounded by war, but I do not support the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and I do not support the culture of militarism that seems to be prevalent. Therefore I shall wear my red poppy with a white poppy for peace.
I think it would be such a good idea for the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month to be a time when we considered how we could live to promote peace for the next year, rather than try to remember the mostly nameless and faceless people who have died as a result of war.
If we do consider how many young men in the prime of life, how many mothers, fathers, daughters and sons, young children and old men and women, how many Afghans, Americans, Argentinians, Bosnians, British, French, German, Iraqis, Japanese, Russians and Serbs etc. have died in the last two centuries as a result of war it could be encouragement for some people to try to live in a way that promotes peace rather than conflict.