Yesterday, one of those angry young men asked me this question. His view was that it promoted war, although he did say the money went to a good cause.
Me being me, I had a difference of opinion: I know, usually I am so accepting and tolerant of other people’s viewpoints.
The first reason why I wear a poppy is because of all the people who refuse to wear one and verbally attack people who do wear them. We live in a free country and I have a right to express my beliefs as much as the person who doesn’t wear one. Verbally attack me about it and see where it gets you. Nowhere.
The second reason why I wear a poppy is not to promote war, as this young whippersnapper said, it is to remember the people who gave their lives. I’m not pro-war but I believe that the men and women who gave their lives in the service of this country should be remembered for their sacrifice.
And I’m not a religious person but I am quite happy to join in the hymns and the prayers as a homage to these people.
On the money the poppy appeal raises, I find myself torn. The government should be paying our ex-servicemen and women. After the wars they have had to fight and endure it is the least this country should do for them.
But as we know governments are quite happy to pay for soldiers on active duty but when they have outlived their usefulness,they are cast aside. Which is why we still hear about ex-soldiers living in poverty or suffering mental health issues and living on the streets.
Some of these people have fallen through the gaping chasms in the system and only the poppy appeal helps provide the money and care these ‘forgotten people’ desperately need.
Of course I didn’t say all this to the angry young man who questioned me.
When he asked “Why do you wear a poppy?” I replied “To annoy jumped-up little shits, like you.”
And that’s when the trouble started.