So some of you may have noticed there’s a big story in the news – the whole white poppy thing.
The general tone is this: there is a group of individuals who don’t like what they believe the wearing of red poppies for Remembrance Day symbolizes.
Red poppies are apparently reminiscent of bloodshed, loss and ongoing warmongering.
To move away from this culture of armed conflict, we must embrace those things that represent best what we hope for: a world of peace and communication. Hence a white poppy.
The wearing of the red poppy tells anyone who cares to look that the wearer acknowledges ALL of the sacrifices, ALL of the commitments , and ALL of the choices that those who have served, are serving, and will continue to serve have made to GUARANTEE that each and every man, woman and child alive in this country is free.
Free to dissent if they so choose. Free to gather with others who are of like mind and disposition. Free to bask in whatever it is that defines their self expression.
Every. Single. Day.
Wearing a red poppy on your left lapel is a simple little gesture of your appreciation and thankfulness of that freedom.
Anyone in this country can choose to do so, or choose not to.
There are two items of significant importance that are often overlooked when it comes to the red poppies:
One – poppies are red. Red is the colour of our blood, something that we all have in common. Blood doesn’t have to be spilled to suffer. We are all part of one human family. We bear the weight together.
Two – we wear the poppies over our hearts. Ironically, the heart represents that part of us where we feel loss, where we feel joy, where we feel love. It’s also where our blood comes from.
There is a reason we develop symbols in our civilization. They act as totems to our history. They connect us all and bring us closer together when we feel sad, or quiet. They give us strength when we must rise to the challenge, and they make us proud to belong.
It’s a simple thing, putting on a red poppy.
But don’t worry. You can wear a white poppy if it’s really that much of an imposition for you.
I will GUARANTEE your right to do so.