We live in a world today drastically over populated by symbolism and signs. We are bombarded from noon till night by golden arches, apples with a bite out and a rather large green fellow, with a penchant for sweetcorn.
Yet through the haze of useless messages and worthless imagery one emblem cuts a bright red path, piercing the foggy chatter, as important and relevant today as it was back way back when on Flanders’s Fields – The simple poppy.
We wear it to remember those that paid the ultimate sacrifice, those that cannot enjoy the freedoms that they fought to secure, those that were braver than we hope we ever have to be.
We offer silence and solemn thanks (unless you are Pixie Lott and Rod Stewart of course) and say a little prayer each year at this time, mindful of the debt that each of us owes for the freedoms that they fought so gallantly for.
But with freedom comes responsibility and respect and I am afraid that there are those in this city who have completely lost sight of those particular values.
How else can you explain the mindless attack on a fire engine in Paston on Bonfire night - Fire-fighters struck with lumps of concrete whilst just trying to do their job, a job which is difficult enough at the best of times?
Those responsible should hang their heads in shame and when found, be made to sit in one of the trenches at Ypres for a month with only mustard gas and barbed wire for company. They would soon learn the error of their ways.
We have RAF veterans being attacked in broad daylight in this city, women suffering serious sexual assaults outside the PT offices and lives endangered by concrete blocks, thrown on to the train lines.
What is going on? Why don’t people care about the consequences of their actions anymore? Is this the sort of freedom that so many fought for?
How little do you have to care about your fellow man when you can invade his home late at night, scare him half to death, and then steal his money before hitting him with his own jewellery box?
All this without a thought for the sixty nine year old’s well being or obviously any fear of getting caught.
Maybe if this person (and I use that term in its widest possible sense here) was facing the prospect of a landing under fire on a Normandy beach or a spell in a Japanese prisoner of war camp, they would think twice about their future actions.
I am not sure if it is a lack of police enforcement, a soft judiciary or in some families, a complete lack of ethics and principles that is causing this moral morass.
But one thing is for sure – Our brave boys and girls did not give their lives so that this “Am I bothered” generation could run amok, using freedom as a stick to beat us with.
Somebody must make a stand and ensure that their sacrifice was not wasted.
Peterborough deserves better and so do they.