On Wednesday last week I took off my poppy. I had worn it to symbolise something but symbols are less important than the things they symbolise so at the end of the prescribed period for remembrance I yanked the poppy from my lapel, gently, and then had to decide what should become of the red and green paper and plastic which I had worn.
Should the poppy be recycled or just thrown in the rubbish bin, where so many lives were thrown in useless wars that created victims of victors and power for the defeated. Perhaps I should carefully store the poppy in a drawer, collecting them each year until after enough years, if I live long enough, I can fashion the faded red paper and green plastic into a faded wreath.
Respect is an over used concept and is sought mainly by those who have done little to earn respect. Perhaps the dead did not earn respect merely by inadvertently (in most cases) giving their lives but humanity has no more to give than its lives and even though we hide sacrifice with garish disguise, sacrifice shines through, bloodied and battered and often dead.
I was still trying to think of what I should do with my poppy when I heard the news from Paris. Truth, I need not have concerned myself; remembrance follows remembrance as murder follows murder. We will always need poppies.