Why I Wear a Poppy

Wearing a poppy in November has become a British custom over the years. It is something that many of feel obliged to do and, in my opinion, rightly so.

I recently read an article on The Huffington Post on why one man won’t wear a poppy. He views it as a symbol of patriotism and promotion of war rather than a symbol of remembrance. There’s no denying that poppies are indeed a symbol of pride for our nation. The pride in the nation is because of those who gave their tomorrow for our today; for those still serving now and, of course, all of those killed in war.

white-poppy

Any attempt to say that poppies glorify war is something that I absolutely reject. That’s why people wear white poppies: to show that they don’t agree with war but still wish to remember those who have served and died. I think that’s important. Not wearing one and using that as your excuse is not strong at all as there are other options and does remembrance really have to be about a political statement?

Personally, I wear a red poppy. I do not agree with war and I am a pacifist when it comes to everything but extreme circumstances, like World War Two. As a British citizen and granddaughter of a woman who lived through the Second World War and a man who was a Prisoner of War and taken on a death march, I feel that it is very important for me to remember everyone impacted by war. A red poppy doesn’t say I agree with war – it shows I remember its horrors.

cenotaph

If you choose not to wear a poppy because you don’t want to, that is fine. What annoys me is when people refuse to wear them because it promotes war. Poppies prevent us from forgetting the past and wearing them each year helps charities like the Royal British Legion who do great work.

Wear your poppies – red or white – with pride this November. With pride for those who showed so much bravery and who we can never allow ourselves to forget.