While most of the message from our Conservative government in honour of Remembrance Day (in this issue it’s on page A12 of our special November 11 section) is the sort of standard, unobjectionable sentiment that bears repeating every year, there’s one more recent development to the “lest we forget” mantra that doesn’t sit well with what surrounds it.
In addition to suggesting we Canadians take in a Remembrance Day ceremony, have a chat with a local veteran, or write a blog post about the importance of remembering, there’s this gem: “Change your profile picture on Facebook to a poppy.”
The suggestion isn’t even last on the list, in which case one could maybe think the person writing the message ran out of ideas and picked the first thing that came to mind to make a required word count. That would be a little more comforting, because as far as ideas for remembering those who’ve fallen in war go, this one is pretty lame.
Buy a real poppy, wear that. Buy several of them, especially if you have trouble getting them to stay on your coat collar and are worried about losing them. If you’re a parent with interested kids, look into something like our local Army Cadet program — respect for those who’ve worn a uniform is a key component. Go to the ceremonies in either Invermere or Edgewater — both are late enough in the day to accommodate any sleeping in you’re hoping to do on your statutory holiday. Even if you stay home and watch TV re-runs of CSI all day on November 11, you’ve accomplished as much as anyone who puts a poppy on their Facebook page.
All putting up a picture of a poppy on Facebook says is you would like to be seen doing something socially acceptable, but don’t want to make the effort to get up out of your chair.
Remembrance Day is meant to be solemn and thoughtful, but remembering isn’t the same as navel gazing. Posting a poppy in the space that you normally use to post your old baby pictures, glamour shots and vacation snaps doesn’t do anyone any favours.
—Invermere Valley Echo