The support our injured soldiers and bereaved families receive is unrecognisable from our predecessors and it is a comfort to a serving soldier now if he gets injured or he pays the ultimate sacrifice. He and his family will be looked after by a first rate support system providing both for them financially with lifelong help available if required.
Much as I relish the creativity of many of their efforts, I feel that this trend tells a worrying story both about the faltering attempts of business to redefine its place in the world and about our own need to grasp at almost anything to create meaning in our lives. In my book, we could do with rather more powerful stories at Christmas time. Any ideas?
The World War One Centenary is a time to reflect one of the biggest wastes of human lives in the 20th Century. Why it happened, the lives it destroyed and how future wars can be averted are important lessons for our age. The ceramic poppies at the tower of London - 888,246 of them, each representing an extinguished human life - formed the centre of many moving tributes across the country.
It is that time of year again where every poppy pinned to a lapel is joined by a newspaper column, blog or tweet on why no one should be wearing a poppy. To wear or not to wear a poppy is a debate raging everywhere, and unfortunately this controversy is dominating the discourse on commemoration and precluding the wider national debate we should be having on the subject.
Opium poppy extracts and their chemical derivatives were and still are invaluable in relieving the suffering of the wounded. It is therefore safe to say that both the opium poppy and the red poppy, or least the artificial variety, have been employed to bring immense relief to members of the armed forces, albeit in totally different ways.