By Atif Rashid, UK
The poppy is a robust, yet delicate flower. For millions of people over the world, it represents remembrance in the wake of the catastrophic wars which have cost the lives of so many and to which there is still no end.
With most of the world embroiled in some sort of conflict or another today, the meaning of Remembrance Day is so much more significant this year. It is poignant that despite remembering our fallen ones every year, fighting never seems to cease. It is therefore even more reason for us to continue to commemorate this day and never allow the memories of those fallen ones to fade away.
It could be argued that a successful nation is one that they never forgets the sacrifices of those who fought to preserve freedom. So as we commemorate this day once again, there are several lessons we need to heed.
Seeking revenge only leaves a bitter taste whereas forgiveness is sweet. We may never be able to resolve all our disputes and differences, but always retaliating and being vengeful against those who may have wronged us will never lead to lasting peace or happiness. We should appreciate that it is forgiveness that helps bring closure to distressed minds and evokes feeling of warmth and humanity.
Despite there being many diverging opinions, we all have to live together on the same earth. All too often we forget this vital truth which should put an end all our resentments and disputes. Our humanity should transcend all other thoughts of race, religion, culture, nationality or outlook. We have the very same basic needs, similar desires and we all seek to make better lives for ourselves and our children.
Sounds simple but man is prone to forget so reminders are essential. For example we need to be reminded that not even a century has passed since the 2nd World War, possibly the greatest calamity mankind has faced since its inception, and now it seems that we stand at the threshold of an even greater catastrophe. We should remember that poverty, disease or natural disasters are not the primary causes of our suffering and distress but it is war and the shedding of innocent blood. It is armed conflict which has caused more havoc, left more nations destroyed, children orphaned and lives ruined than almost any amount of disease, poverty or natural disaster could.
Nevertheless, we must never lose hope because amongst all the supposed doom and gloom, many nations, including our own, have managed to recover from the most disastrous and calamitous situations. If we can truly learn lessons from the past, then the many lives which were sacrificed years ago would not gone in vain.
We must never forget.
Atif is a UK-based freelance writer, community events organiser and an aspiring journalist. He has written on many topics including religion, politics, health and current affairs.