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Posted on: 10/11/2017

Remembrance Day

As Remembrance Day approaches on the 11th November, it is crucial for us to remember those who have given their lives in battle during World War One, fighting for our freedom to live and remain independent and equal in rights and dignity. These sacrifices made it possible for us to take freedom of speech, education, religion, and healthcare for granted. 

To commemorate the soldiers in the UK, on Saturday at 11 o’clock we share 2 minutes of silence with citizens across Great Britain. People around the country wear red or white poppies as they represent perseverance, resilience, and humanity’s constant pursuit of peace. 

Despite the devastation during World War One, bright red Flanders poppies still flourished near the battlefields, giving hope and faith to those fighting. It inspired an American academic, Moina Michael, to make and sell red silk poppies; a tradition which quickly spread around the world. 

Although World War One seems like an event of the past, these conflicts are still occurring around the world today. While we take advantage of our privileges in the Western World, it is important for us to acknowledge the lack of unalienable rights in other parts of the world.  Among these is the freedom to live without fear of death or persecution. A modern example (out of a myriad of them) is Aleppo, which used to be Syria's largest city, with a population of about 2.3 million. Now, it is a center of conflict, and the battleground for a civil war that has been going on for over five years. Designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1986, is now a field of dilapidated ruins, populated by stray cats and people without homes. No one is certain about the future of this historical city. According to “Last Men In Aleppo Campaign”, if Islington and Finsbury had suffered like Aleppo, 1,723 people would have been killed, less than 12% (13,786 out of 114,890) of its population would still live here and less than 4% of children would still be enrolled in school; a truly catastrophic and frightening thought. 

So this Remembrance Day, as we remember those who died in defence of the UK, let’s also remember the thousands who still face persecution and fight for the safety of their homes today; all those who still suffer with the physical and mental repercussions of war.