Wearing a Poppy for Remembrance Day

I’m going to keep this post short with mostly tweets and links. Remembrance Day is coming up next Monday and you should hopefully be wearing your poppy close to your heart by now. I know some of you will argue that the red poppies actually celebrate or promote war not peace. Well, read on and see if any of these questions will change your mind. If not, then it’s your own choice.

Brothers in arms, at rest

Brothers in arms, at rest (Photo credit: Bruce Guenter)

Why should we wear a poppy?

We wear it for:

  • veterans
  • victims
  • current soldiers
  • peace

Honouring the past, respecting the present, fostering the future

What the poppy represents

I remember how an elderly German lady asked me in Munich in November 2010 why I was wearing a red poppy pin. No doubt she and many other Muenchners had seen [mostly] British and Canadian expats wearing poppy pins around town all of a sudden in November. I’m not sure how a British or Canadian expat would have explained it to a German but this is what I said – and what I believe:

We wear the poppies around November to remember the war dead (the fallen soldiers and victims), to honour the veterans, and to make sure that never again means never again.

‘For peace,’ she said with a smile.

I was relieved that she was happy to hear it as I’m sure any mention of war brings back memories of WWII. As someone who is part-German and part-Chinese, it can be an ‘awkward’ topic when it comes to Remembrance Day. I choose to remember everyone from the Allied and Axis powers during Remembrance Day. Just because a losing force had evil leaders does not mean all the inhabitants were evil too.

Where do your poppy donations go?

News here: http://www.thenownews.com/news/poppy-drives-help-veterans-1.677093

 Ideas on how to avoid losing your red poppy:

  1. Attach the pin horizontally.
  2. To prevent yourself from being pricked, use the stopper from the Canadian Cancer daffodil pin, an earring stopper, or use tape (wrap it around the pointy end).
  3. Use a safety-pin: You’ll have to poke two holes in the centre.
  4. Use a Canadian flag pin in lieu of the pin. This is what many politicians are doing. I thought it would be more patriotic but a former cadet told me it’s actually disrespectful. It no longer looks like a poppy either.
  5. Wear a Poppy Brooch – all year round!

What you can do

Here are some ideas but I’m sure there are more:

  • Donate to the Canadian Poppy Fund
  • Attend a Remembrance Day ceremony/parade
  • Greet and thank a veteran
  • Volunteer at a Legion branch
  • Buy something from the Poppy Store
  • Follow these Twitter accounts & blogs:

I have an odd tradition during the days leading up to Remembrance Day. I listen to my playlist of popular songs during the wartime. I also watch as many WWI- or WWII-related movies or documentaries. These could include the depressingly sad Schindler’s List, my favourite Joyeux Noel, and even the new Narnia movies. I don’t know why I do it (as it makes me really heartbroken) but I think it helps me feel closer to the war-generation and those before them. It makes me even more determined to make sure their memories live on.

One thought on “Wearing a Poppy for Remembrance Day

  1. Pingback: Poppy Day | georgecambridge

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