Friday, November 11, 2005

Poppies: Red and/or White?

I bought a red poppy yesterday, though I feel ambiguous about it. Partly I feel there's a big pressure to conform and wear a poppy in British society. It seems like politicians and newsreaders are required to wear them for two weeks, like people are scared to be seen not wearing one.

I suppose I have no problem with supporting war veterans that need support, though there must be fewer and fewer left from World War II now. My granddad, who was a prisoner of war in North Africa, is still going at 85. But then again, does that mean conscientious objectors, or those who didn't fight deserve less support? Shouldn't we support all people that need it, shouldn't we support elderly charities or disabled charities, regardless of whether those people are war veterans or not?

Plus I'm never sure if I'm being overly nationalistic and glorifying war by wearing a poppy. I'm pretty close to being a pacifist, though perhaps not one entirely. I can imagine that war is sometimes necessary, though only as a last resort. I'm still discerning what I think about war to be honest. But I feel like I want to promote peace, I'd like to wear a white poppy for peace, but I haven't seen them on sale anywhere. I remain uncomfortable and ambiguous about this whole thing to be honest.


Blogger Bill Baar said...

People died so you have the choice.

Think of it that way.

Know that Red, White, or none at all; you pick and the dead will be at peace seeing you can.

12:33 pm  
Blogger The Emerson Avenger said...

Well said Bill!

As far as I am concerned the red poppy is ultimately about maintaining peace and indeed resting in peace. . .

Robin Edgar

5:24 pm  
Blogger The Emerson Avenger said...

Then again perhaps not. . .

In Flanders Fields
By: Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918)
Canadian Army

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

7:37 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think you need to get a grip. People died for you choice as Bill said.

Perhaps rather than pointing to a fear of nationalism blah blah blah, people feel that with the poppy it is something they choose to do.

Do not patronise others as not having the same choice that you have.

10:57 am  

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