As the saying goes, on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, the guns fell silent on the western front, marking the unofficial end of WW1. The official peace treaty would not be signed until 1919 with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles.
World War I was a turning point in the history of warfare. It brought about a terrifying shift in the destructive power of industrialised warfare. For the first time, nations faced the possibility of depleting their manpower while attempting to mount an assault against heavily fortified defensive positions armed with new and devastating heavy artillery and machine guns. The introduction of these new weapons marked the beginning of a new era in warfare, where the scale of destruction and loss of life surpassed anything that had been seen before. The horrors of World War I continue to serve as a stark reminder of the devastating consequences of war and the need for peaceful resolution of conflicts.
Soldiers have always been called upon to defend their country with immense courage and sacrifice during war. The First World War was one of the deadliest conflicts in history, lasting four years. The harsh conditions of the war front, including trench warfare, disease, and constant bombardment, made life unbearable for the soldiers. Despite all these hardships, the soldiers never lost their spirit and continued to fight for their country till the end. Today, we remember and honour their bravery, commitment, and sacrifice. Whether they are from the past or present, the soldiers who have faced the horrors of war deserve our utmost respect and gratitude.
In the words of Lieutenant Colonel John McCrea;
In Flanders Fields, the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place, and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you, from failing hands, we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
Remembering and honouring our ancestors’ ultimate sacrifice is essential on Remembrance Day. However, in recent times, some elements of the right and left spectrum have forgotten the essence of this day, using it as a platform to politicise the current conflict in the Middle East between Israel and Palestine. The scenes that unfolded in London yesterday and the subsequent sensationalism by the UK press are equally despicable—remembering that this day is about paying our respects to those who fought for our freedom and not using it as an excuse to promote one’s political agenda.
In 2020, the Black Lives Matter movement showed disrespect towards our monuments. Similarly, yesterday, pro-Palestinian supporters displayed inconsiderate behaviour by rejecting a request from the UK Government to postpone their march. Meanwhile, the mainstream news and media seem to be pushing a multicultural agenda, which is overshadowing and neglecting the memory and contributions of those who served their country with honour and courage. This is a cause for concern for the Homeland Party as their legacy is in danger of being forgotten and overlooked.
This leaves the response from the so-called patriots. As they march through the streets of London, reportedly chanting ‘English till I die’ while some brandish Israeli flags. Both Palestinian and Israeli flags are symbols of a current conflict used to enrage the opposition and are entirely inappropriate. Elements of the so-called right took it upon themselves to enrol the English in a dispute between Jews and Muslims. On the day we should have been remembering our Ancestors’, both the left and right were out in London pushing a pro-Palestinian and zionist agenda. They undoubtedly believed they had a good cause, but the truth is that neither you nor I benefit from this.
On honouring Soldiers from the commonwealth, the press can attend numerous days of remembrance in the countries where these soldiers came from, such as Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, India, and Kenya. It is essential to recognise that those who use remembrance day to push their agenda in favour of one side of a conflict over another must consider where their loyalty lies and who they truly serve. At the Homeland Party, we hold remembrance day in high regard as it is a time to honour the sacrifices of our English, Scottish, Welsh and Irish ancestors, who gave up their lives for family and home. We remember and honour those who have left us forever, knowing they will never return to the places they once called home.