Saturday, 2 November 2013

A question of colour...

Welcome to my new follower via Bloglovin - Debbie Puttick.

I have to admit, that until I listened to a rather heated discussion on the radio the other day, I had never heard of the wearing of white poppies! As you can imagine, both sides had quite a lot to say on the subject!

The chap speaking for white poppies was a student union leader. Despite saying he thought the red poppy was outrageous as it stood for war and that the wearing of one is political, managed to sound just like a politician himself.

A much older lady then came on to say why she wears a white poppy (stands for peace in case you didn't know), and was very antagonistic towards the red poppy as she firmly believes it stands for war.

A link to a neutral explanation of the white poppy site is here
A similar link for the red poppy is here

You pays your money and takes your choice springs to mind!

In this household, we have always worn a red one (and it has nothing to do with us having an ancestral Lancashire bias!), as so many of our families were in the Forces, and suffered/died during several wars. Those that survived, were often affected for their entire lives - no understanding of PTSD then!

We have failed to be surprised any more, on just how few people we see wearing them, including those who are old enough to have fought in wars. We wear it because we remember those who are no longer here, who died to give us all a free voice and a free life.

I think sometimes, people forget that all freedom (whether it be physical, mental or emotional) has to be fought for. There will always be people who fall on both sides of an arguement and those who are neutral. That is what has been fought for by others, to give those that remain, that freedom of choice.

Those speaking for and against both colour poppies put their points of view quite well. Personally, I don't see what the 'colour' fuss is about. It seems to me you have two choices of colour should you wish then a final three choices.

Don't contribute and don't wear, contribute and don't wear, or contribute and do wear.

In this household, we will continue to contribute and wear a red poppy!

Now I'll batten down the hatches awaiting comments...

13 comments:

  1. I purchase and wear red poppies, have done ever since I was a child at school when you were asked to bring a penny (old) in to put in the tin. This was during the fifties post WW2. We brought our children up with this ethos and they too carry this on with theirs. The red poppies represent the poppies found growing in the fields of France where many many battles were fought and tens of thousands killed or maimed in WW1. I have always believed that the red of the poppy was a symbol of the blood spilled on those fields. As for the lady who believes red stands for war - I wonder if she's never heard the phrase "lest we forget" - we should always be reminded of war and it's atrocities so that future generations can reflect and protect their country. Oh I could go on.....lovely inspiring post DC.
    Patricia x

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  2. I agree with all you have said there. The lady mentioned that anyone who joined the Forces knew there was a possibility of going to war and being killed or injured. During the war conscription brought many into the Forces who may not have wanted to go. I feel that today, just because you join and there is the possibility of fighting, doesn't mean you deserve what happens to you.

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  3. what a load of poppy-cock I am quite fumed about this. The white poppy stands for peace - ok, and? what? why do they need another poppy? The red poppy stand to remind us of all those who gave their lives in the wars. It is NOT and never was a political statement and I am incensed that the ignorance of these people id allowed to go unchecked. Lest we forget indeed! And as an ex Naval Nurse, married to a Naval radiographer, with one son who joined the Army Air Corps and one in the Royal Marines I agree wholeheartedly with your lat statement.

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    1. I think I was shocked at their ignorance and misguidedness more than anything else. I have always worn a red poppy as when I was a teenager just understanding it, my sister was the housekeeper for a dear old chap from WWI who had been gassed. He had some stories to tell!

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  4. We will always have a red poppy. That's not to say we dont believe in peace, we do, but many people died in the world wars and it's a symbol of remembrance.

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    1. I think that what they don't understand is that the poppy is not just for remembrance of those who fought but also of war itself. To remember is to never forget what happens in a war, therefore, remembrance should help us to maintain peace.

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  5. I wear both a white and a red poppy. I wear a white poppy because I am a firm believer that we should try every peaceful way possible to resolve conflict and respect and support all those who work for peace and the many who have given their lives in areas of conflict trying to achieve this. HOWEVER, I also accept that sometimes war is inevitable and I would not want to dishonour those who have given their lives either willingly or unwillingly ( thinking of conscription ) to fight for the freedom of others. Perhaps if we could all respect the views of others and work towards a more tolerant viewpoint we might begin to see more resolution of differences without bloodshed.

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    1. I think that a very nice way of supporting both and your viewpoint is much appreciated. You are the only one to comment from wearing white.

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  6. My husband is retiring in the spring after more than 40 years in our country's military. I have one son who in the Army and one who is in the middle of the enlistment process.

    Every year I buy at least five poppies. And every year I lose five poppies. I just cannot keep them on my coats.

    We are seeing an unfortunate trend here though. People are stealing the collection cans left on shop counters in the poppy boxes. There isn't a huge amount in the cans.

    People have no sense of history or shame it seems.

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    1. Happy future retirement to your husband. They are difficult to keep on aren't they. We find pushing a safety pin from the back to the front, then front to back leaves a small bit of the pin (1/2cm on the front of the coat. The stem of the poppy is forced down and once that little extra tail goes through, it tends to stay put. We keep all our old ones (but still contribute each year) so that we can have one on every coat!

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  7. My Dad was a soldier for all of my childhood, was working for RBLACT when he died, and for several years had a voluntary role as secretary of the local branch of The British Legion. His Dad fought in WWI, was wounded, and was still having shrapnel removed from his body when he died aged 66.
    I wear a red poppy as a mark of remembrance for those who made the ultimate sacrifice, and make my donation as a way of helping those who survived but need help.

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    1. Had to look that one up! Me too on the rest of the remark. x

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  8. Even in Germany the red poppy has always been the symbol of rememberance. I recall my granddad laying
    a wreath for the fallen soldiers once. Red poppies kind of remind you of the poppy fields, growing were the trenches with dead bodies once existed. We should never forget what others have fought for in the wars. We would not have the freedom of speech or freedom to live the way we do now if it wasn`t for the sacrifices of those brave soles. It doesn`t matter which side of the fence you are on. We shouldn`t forget and we shouldn`t hijack a symbol like this for the silly excuse of an argument about the colour. Red represents the blood that has been shed, and that`s the reason most people wear a red poppy. Lest we forget.

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