Remember the survivors

The public prefers their war heroes to be dead
If war is a commonplace human activity, so too is compassion: yet true, enduring, adult compassion towards the maimed of war is one of the most strikingly absent features about how British society has responded to the aftermath of war.

After all, the original purpose of the artificial poppies was to give employment to men who had been maimed in battle. These broken men were still made to work to survive. The British never even had the French tradition of reserving seats in public transport for veterans mutiles par la guerre.
My father wasn't a front line soldier in the second world war. He volunteered in spite of the fact that both his appallingly bad eyesight and his status as an Irish citizen meant he didn't have to enlist. He served behind the lines as the company tailor and travelled with the 8th Army to north Africa and Italy.

He survived the experience, just. He contracted malaria in southern Italy from what was the only biological warfare attack during the war. 

After nine months in hospital he returned home a shadow of his former self and suffered recurring attacks for the next 20+ years.  He might have got a medal had he been wounded or even a pension but you get nothing for contracting a deadly tropical disease, even one used as a weapon by the enemy. 

But he survived, unlike many of his comrades and remembrance is about the survivors of war keeping their promise to never forget the fallen.

Still a little pension would have come in handy :)