A carnival of remembrance

It was perhaps appropriate that this story was published on Holocaust Memorial Day.

How we decide to commemorate an event is as important as what we choose to prioritise in our collective memory.

The Remembrance Day festivities at Ibrox last year were a new low in bad taste and it has been correctly criticised by services chiefs.

Regular readers here will know that I am uneasy about the extent to which Remembrance Sunday has become a month long event promoting saccharine narrative of the British armed forces.

Moreover, the Royal British Legion Poppy has become something of a campaign rosette to support current military adventures, no matter how ill-judged or fatally under resourced they are.

In the rush to outdo each other over how much people don’t forget about Britain’s war dead it is a real shame that there is no acknowledgment of the innocent victims of Britannia.

The circus-type celebratory atmosphere at Ibrox last November was entirely suitable for Armed Forces Day, but not an appropriate way to remember those who died in past conflicts.

For a subculture which claims to venerate the memory of the fallen, this jamboree was rather misplaced.

The optics of Royal Marines abseiling down off the stadium just didn’t convey a reverence for the dead.

Many Irishmen have died wearing the uniform of Britain, but innocent Irish people have also been murdered by others wearing that same uniform.

Subsequently, there is an ambivalence here in Ireland about how we to respond to Britain’s day of national remembrance because it simultaneously about our dead and those who also killed Irish people.

For a club that has made a claim to be somehow uniquely associated with the armed forces of the British state, what happened last November at Ibrox was tacky and tasteless.

It is instructive that the response from the Third Division club does not address the reasons the top brass decided there would be no repeat this year.

The teenage conscripts buried in Flanders deserved better than this bouncy castle approach to remembering those who died for their country.

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