Why am I wearing a poppy?

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.

 

One thought on “Why am I wearing a poppy?”

  1. I always struggle with this time of year. Only because I am sceptical about the ongoing vocabulary attached to the Brand Marketing that accompanies a lot of good work. There are no survivors of WW1 and only a handful left alive from WW2.

    Yet, there seems to be a reframing of the focus on THOSE wars rather than more recent events as cause for remembrance.

    Now, we can only remember those passed. We cannot make their plight any better by buying a Poppy.

    However, how can we say we are honouring the sacrifice made in the two Great Wars by allowing our governments. decade upon decade, to let our young people endure life threatening conflicts that will only be resigned to ‘a lesson learned’ in a Westminster by-line ahead of a whip-lead, more pressing matter. On all sides.

    The loss of life since WW2 has been more in the cause of commercial need over moral imperative.

    Moreover, it remains an sour-tasting indictment for us all that we ignore the used and scarred returned service people; leaving charity to pick up the shortfall. We should have said NO to our elected reps. Sort it out. Fund the care and leftover years for those who lives have been dismembered by your war choices.

    Without the charity money they will be worse off, which must not happen. So we buy a Poppy or two each year.

    In the 11+ months in between, perhaps we should be buying stamps to put on letters that we send to our elected reps to say ‘NO MORE’. Stop feeding the arms traders and serve the veterans who can’t fight your wars for you any longer.

    There is a petition on YouGov that needs 3000 signatures to get the issue raised in Parliament. Find it, sign it.

    Imagine, what if the Poppy became a symbol of the time when we all got the Government to spend our taxpayer contributions on care rather than killing.

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