How appropriate can it be that poppies are placed in remembrance of the Enniskillen massacre in the context of the Great Wars?
Those who were robbed of their lives in Enniskillen and the 60 who were maimed and injured were not victims of a war in which they participated, but victims of terrorism and were victimised.
They did not die on some foreign battle field, but died in an urban setting going about their daily lives. The military presence and salute was symbolic of comrades that had fallen in arms. Most of the victims were unarmed civilian pensioners, with just one unarmed reserve police officer.
How can a military/government-style funeral be appropriate where a act of unashamed and indifferent evil took place?
Poppies are generally indicative of sacrifices made. The terrorist victims in Enniskillen in 1987 made no willing sacrifice that anybody is aware of. They were just in the wrong place at the wrong time in the background of sectarian hatred and madness, like so many other victims, as in the case of the Omagh outrage and other acts of terrorism. Are all these too to get poppy commemorations and is it strictly appropriate or appropriate at all? For once, the Taoiseach and Tanáiste seemed to get it right in having no poppies on their wreath.
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