The War Cry comments on Remembrance
SWITCH on any live or topical television programme over this weekend and most, if not all, of the presenters will be wearing a red poppy. They will be joining millions of others who will be displaying the symbolic flower. It’s expected that by Remembrance Sunday tomorrow (11 November), 40 million poppies will have been distributed.
But red poppies are not the only ones available. Over the past four years, 100,000 white poppies have been sold annually. Produced by the Peace Pledge Union since 1933, they represent a commitment to lasting peace. There are also black poppies to remember members of black communities who have contributed to various war efforts. Far less common are purple poppies, created to remember animals who have died in conflicts.
The wearing of the white poppy in particular has caused some controversy. Johnny Mercer, MP, called them ‘attention-seeking rubbish’ on social media and encouraged people to ignore those who wore them.
The Royal British Legion first produced red poppies in 1921. The money raised by their sales supports veterans and people serving in the armed forces, along with their families and dependents. However, the charity defends the right for people to wear differently coloured poppies, while also pointing out that its red one is not a sign of supporting war but a symbol of remembrance and hope.
The truth is, sometimes it is beneficial to remember things that were not good or positive.
Remembering the horror of conflicts is vital. Regardless of the colour of the poppy we wear, it would be a tragedy for our society if we lost sight of the human cost of when diplomacy fails and violence ensues.
It is also important that we remember those who are or have been directly caught up in that violence as well as those who have paid the ultimate price so that we are able to debate the colour of our poppy.
The War Cry
The War Cry
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