Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Rant of the Day: Remembrance Day

Handmade ceramic poppies "planted" around the Tower of London's moat
Yesterday I dug out my poppy -- the British one with no pin -- and put it through the buttonhole of my polo shirt. I tried using a safety pin to pin it to my shirt, but made the poppy look worse.

So I wore the poppy to work and some British and Canadian coworkers noticed that I wore the poppy, but no one else.

I have to add though it's hard to find a poppy if you don't know where to get one...

If you don't have a hole in your lapel, where to put the poppy?
A mobile medical clinic happened to come to our office to give employees who requested it, a flu jab and I went to get one. When I walked in, the local nurse pointed to my poppy and asked me if I wore this pretty flower for a reason.

I said, "It's November 11!" and then she was kind of taken aback but soon realized she should have known.

Only in Central did I see British suit types wearing poppies, and yesterday morning the cenotaph in Central had several wreaths around it, ready for the Remembrance Day ceremony later in the day.

Why do Hong Kong people not mark Remembrance Day anymore? Or is it because it's not a British colony anymore?

Have the Hong Kong people forgotten the British and Canadian soldiers who fought in vain (and lost) the city to the Japanese in World War II? Or are they resentful of the Japanese occupation?

Regardless, this is Hong Kong's history and a part of the city's identity too.

In any event, it just seems sad and disappointing that Hong Kong people do not remember the war dead. Or is that a gweilo war that didn't concern them?

A moving tribute to soldiers who have fought for Britain
This year more Canadians and Brits have come out to remember the soldiers who fought not only in World War I and II, but in Iraq and Afghanistan. This year marks the 100th anniversary of World War I.

In London, there was an amazing display of ceramic poppies, all handmade and "planted" in the moat of the Tower of London by volunteers, thousands and thousands of them to create a sea of red.

It is a beautiful tribute to those who gave up their lives for their country, fighting for freedom.

And isn't that what people are sort of doing in Hong Kong right now?

OK the colours are different, but I just feel it's so important to remember where we came from to figure out where we are now...


  1. I noticed your poppy yesterday, just didn't mention it!

    To be honest, I thought of it as a particularly British thing. Never saw poppies being worn, etc. on November 11 in the US or elsewhere. Guess it is in Canada too...

    1. Yes American don't wear poppies either. I heard US veterans are lobbying to change the name of the day as Armistice Day.

  2. To answer your and YTSL questions,

    -the poppy thing is applicable Europe-wide and Armistance Day (aka Veterans Day for those North Americans) is celebrated Europe-wide, any American and British soil...Generally Americans would wear a flag on their lapel instead.

    - Why HK does mark Remembrance Day? To Chinese society, it is *NOT* the British Colony AND the Chinese doesn't recognize the Allies save China from the Japanse. HK and China have truly forgotten about Allied contribution to Chinese survival. the Chinese these days only remember the Japanese atrocities as a political weapon every 4 or so years...

    - I concur, it is sad that HK (and Chinese) ppl have forgot about the war dead and how Allies paid the ultimate price for our future and stability. I am thankful everyday for my freedom and will provide the same sacriface if needed be. HK/China don't remember because the CCP view of the world and it is "gweilo" war that didn't concern them.

    = **without the allies (again), bulk of Asia would be under Japanese control. Be very thankful to the Allies, including Europeans, British, Canadians, Australians, New Zealanders, and the Americans.**

    = What Occupy central doing for freedom is exactly what the Allies did for freedom during WWII.

    = Lastly, HK/China society haven't truly fought a war since WWII or Korean War era (1952-ish) versus elsewhere...

    Given this is November, I am thankful for peace in the world and volunteer past, present and future soldiers willing to sacriface their lives so I can live mine with all the freedoms attached.

    Unlike some countries trying to start conflicts (maybe wars) by invasion and defying international laws with cowardly and scummy acts such building artifical islands in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, towarding and building rigs in waters of other countires, surrouding islands that doesn't belong to them by naval blockades.