Scottish Government Remembrance Day Ceremony 2018

I was honoured to be invited back to the Scottish Government’s Remembrance Day at St. Andrew’s House last week.  Last year, I became the first humanist ever to be invited to speak at an official government event, which was a pretty big deal: as I said in this article in The Herald, “it seems fitting that […]

The Language of Flowers

Today I want to talk about the forgotten language of flowers.  My memory is terrible these days and that’s strangely appropriate. It wasn’t until I began writing this speech that I remembered that for thousands of years, the poppy wasn’t ‘the flower of remembrance’ but ‘the flower of forgetfulness’: our earliest ancestors ate its seeds to […]

11/11 – a Humanist Poem of Remembrance

I wrote this poem for the 99th anniversary of Armistice Day when I became the first humanist ever to address an official government ceremony of remembrance. It’s a response to Laurence Binyon’s poem ‘For the Fallen’. To the nameless millions who lie in mass graves, From the forest of Katyn to the killing fields of […]

Remembrance Friday

I was honoured to be asked to deliver a Remembrance address to the staff of the Scottish Government at St. Andrew’s House in Edinburgh yesterday.  As no humanist has ever been invited to be part of an official event of this kind, it meant a lot, and it seemed very fitting that it happened 99 years […]

Remembrance Day

I was invited by the Scottish Government to speak at their Ceremony of Remembrance earlier today at St. Andrew’s House in Edinburgh. It’s the first time that a humanist has ever been part of an official event of this kind, so it was a great honour.         To the nameless millions who lie in mass […]