Poppy Day

Remembrance PoppyNovember the eleventh is coming up. It’s an important day for me every year, because it’s the Brother’s birthday. It’s also an important day because it’s Remembrance Day.

I have a fairly strong stance on the British armed forces, as I’ve mentioned before. However, that does not extend to Remembrance Day. I don’t think there is another day so important in many ways, because if there is one thing society needs to get a hold of, it is our shared history. We’re becoming more and more a global community and in order to do that one of the principle things we need to work on is ending territorial conflicts. The 11th of November represents the remembrance of one of the most devastating territorial conflicts in history, and that is undoubtedly important to commemorate.

The issue I have this year, is that I read this article. To explain it briefly, in recent years the meaning of the poppy seems to have changed. People aren’t wearing it in sad remembrance of those who died in conflicts past, and hoping that no more are sent to die. Instead they’re wearing it to celebrate the troops, support the current political campaigns that we’re involved with and sort of suggest that war might be a good thing.

Let me make one thing clear. I am not against any individual in the armed forces. I’m not against the work that they do in the cause of human rights. I am not against those individuals who have gone out and used their skills wisely by joining the armed forces. I am certainly not against those who’ve died in the line of duty, and I’m not against the families of those currently at war.

I am against the way that the armed forces are deployed by our government, among others, to facilitate capital gain at the cost of other nation’s freedom. I am against the needless deaths of members of the armed forces through conflict in territories which do not need occupation. And I am not happy to wear a symbol which glorifies that, rather than bemoans it (which is what the poppy should signify).

The poppy was the first flower to begin growing again on the soldiers graves in Flanders, after the First World War. It was chosen as a symbol because it represents the countless deaths from violence. Please don’t wear it to encourage more.

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