It must have been 1982 or 1983. In any case I was a young kid, not more than seven (going on to eight). I was out with my mum on one of those great expeditions to Valletta that involved passing through Floriana for some reason. I remember being accosted by an old man covered in military badges and being presented with the poppy as mum threw some coins into the box. We were standing close to the War Memorial. I remember looking up as the man handed me the poppy and asked me: “So young man, do you know what this reminds us of?”
I don’t remember his expression very vividly but I do remember my answer: “It reminds us that soon it is my birthday”. Cue a blushing mum explaining to the veteran that his kid was born on Armistice Day. Well, not exactly the Armistice Day but the day we remember it. I’m fond of Armistice Day and still get the gooseflesh reading about the exploits of those who lost their lives for all of us, for our freedom. Some may think that it’s sad to be born in a month like November what with All Hallow’s Eve trumpeting it in, All Souls Day somberly marching it forward and Armistice Day to top it all up. Sure, the mood is sober, the weather is chilly and autumnal but it’s the time for preparation for the renewal. And today we all remember the call that went out once the peace treaty was signed: “Never again“. Which is why we remember every year with the flowers that grow on Flanders’ fields…. lest we forget.
I’m thirty three years young today, whatever that may mean. Cheers to all of you who have been reading till here… hope you keep on reading but don’t hold your breath if you are hoping that I get any wiser.
This has been J’accuse… celebrating his own birthday so you don’t have to!