Monday, 3 November 2014

Seeing Red

I did a posting about Poppy Day a year ago....

Read ...

.... and this annual remembrance of those British soldiers who died in the Wars,  is this year celebrated in a most impressive and glorious style.

Artist Paul Cummins placed 880,246 ceramic flowers throughout the grounds of the Tower of London as a tribute to the soldiers who fell during World War 1.
The above image was taken from this website ....

These ceramic poppies will be sold,  after Armistice Day,  for GBP25 and 10% will be donated to service-related charities like The British Legion.

Again this year,  there's a reference to Muslims - whose loyalty to Britain is often questioned - and so this year they demonstrated their commitment to this commemoration of Our Glorious Dead.

Here's how the Muslims of Britain parade their allegiance and prove that they are not extremists. British Muslims (of course it will be the women only)  are encouraged to wear a "Poppy Hijab"  to challenge the Muslims (men mainly of course) who denounce the  'activities' of the British Armed Forces in Muslim countries.  The "Poppy Hijab" costs GBP22 and the proceeds from the sale  will go to the Poppy Appeal.

Ella Abubaker Farooq (left), Rukea Azougaya and Taslima Chowdhury (right)  from London show off the new 'Poppy Hijab' in several styles.
There is another aspect to this year's remembrance.  It is to highlight Muslim participation during the bloody wars in Europe.  In fact 400,000 Muslims fought for the Empire during World War I.  And also to remember that 100 years ago a Muslim soldier Sepoy Khudadad Khan became the first Indian soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross.

So, this year the Muslims (the women, that is) have made a pointed contribution to indicate their trustworthiness as British Muslims. What will they have to plan for 2015, I wonder?

Every year 'at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month' the Brits remember their Glorious Dead.

And every year, I will wonder - other than Hari Pahlawan', - how will those who declare themselves as proud citizens of Negara Ku demonstrate their worthiness as Malaysians - all those Malays, Kadazans, Ibans, Muruts, Chinese, Indians, Eurasians, Sri Lankans etc ;  all those Muslims, Christians, Hindus, Buddhists, atheists etc  affirm their appreciation of those who enabled and protected  their present standard of life?  Just like immigrants in Britain do,even though they are recent arrivals.

I wrote this last year and I think it bears repeating.

What about Malaysia?  Will we have a Bunga Raya Appeal to remember the sacrifices of our soldiers during the Second World War, the Emergency, Confrontation, and Lahad Datu?  There was no question that they died defending their country - their multi-cultural country!  Should we remind our children by asking them to wear the paper or plastic 'bunga raya' each year and make a little donation to support the veterans and the family of those who died?  We, the schoolchildren of  the 1950s, did it when we were ruled by the British Empire.

Just 10 cents from each student for each year will go a long way.  It's not too much to ask, is it - from all Malaysian children and all Malaysian adults?  If Malaysians are committed enough to various causes by buying and wearing pink  and red and green ribbons and bracelets , surely pinning a little bunga raya on your shirt is no great sacrifice.  It would truly be a wonderful demonstration of patriotism, integration and unity if all our religious organisations, political parties, NGOs, Media and other concerned Pressure Groups will participate in a one-minute-silence to remember "our glorious dead" in the centre of Kuala Lumpur, Georgetown, Kota Kinabalu, Kucing and every city and town up and down the country.

I wonder how the Navigators (Pemandu) of Malaysia will approach this notion?

What millions died - that Caesar might be great!   ( Thomas Campbell 1777-1844)

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