A short post here, since it doesn't take long to summarise the issue.
When the nation hauls its ruling class into church to pretend that our dead soldiers from the Afghan War gave their lives for any reasons other than political expediency and the deranged idiocy of our lunatic former Prime Minister, we're not honouring anyone or anything. What we're doing is lying to ourselves - imbuing our most terrible errors with a nobility that they absolutely do not merit and validating all future repeats of the same awful mistakes.
The urge to recognise great sacrifice is an understandable impulse and I'm fully in favour of people who have lost relatives commemorating their loved ones privately, however seems best to them. Huge state memorials full of pomp and circumstance are another matter, however. They have wider and less laudible aims.
We can honour our dead and wounded but as a nation, it's vital to our ability to come to terms with the reality around us that any public event relating to the occupation of Afghanistan prominently recognises that the entire operation was utterly needless and doomed before a single squaddie so much as set foot in the region. The armed forces didn't protect the people of this nation from any threat in this enterprise, not because they failed, but because there was no serious threat in Afghanistan to protect us from, and no serious prospect that any action on their part could have made the world a noticeably safer place.
The men and women that we lost in Afghanistan were killed because we elected Tony Blair, a vainglorious fool who wrongly believed that he could impose the force of his own towering morality upon the world. We owe these people a debt not because they defended us from danger, but because we hired a fantasist to command them.
I realise that some might feel that it's more complicated than that, but it is not more complicated than that.
I fully understand why people generally and the relatives of the dead in particular would like to think that it was otherwise, but it isn't and no stately pretence is going to make it so.