Remembrance Sunday - Wear poppy with pride

For the first time in more than a decade the anniversary of the ending of the Great War will coincide with Remembrance Sunday, a day on which millions gather in Britain and on the continent to pay homage to those who died in the “war to end all wars”.

For far too long, the Irish Republic has shunned any widespread commemoration of those who died in the service of the allies in the First World War, despite the fact that in the region of 200,000 Irishmen saw service in the trenches of Flanders.

A natural reticence to exalt British imperialism over Irish nationalism has produced a caustic cauldron of bile and bitterness that has lead us to ignore the courage and valour of our forefathers.

Next Sunday presents an opportunity to redress that balance, at least in part. The poppies that bloomed across some of the worst battlefields of Flanders have become a symbol for the blood spilled in the war.

In 1918 hostilities between Germany and the allies ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. It is not too late to wear the poppy with pride.

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