Paula's Place

Paula's Place

Tuesday, 4 November 2014


Here in the UK and the Commonwealth the Poppy has become a symbol of remembrance, based on the flanders poppies they have been adopted across the country since the initial Poppy Day on Remembrance day, the 11th November 1921.   Since then every year the British Legion have sold their paper poppies to both raise funds and aid remembrance every November.

In my memory during the 1960s the act of remembrance was pretty much universal, those who couldn't attend a ceremony would still stop all activities during the minutes silence.   We would hold an act of remembrance at my Church and as the silence fell all the traffic outside would stop and a general silence would fall so much so that we could clearly hear the minute guns firing miles away in Hyde Park.   In later decades the whole remembrance thing seemed to wane as less and less people could remember going to war, or people who went to war, then in the 90s it started to come back, and is now a very big thing.

Through out all this time I have always bought my Poppy and worn it throughout the week leading up to remembrance day Sunday (or if it is the Sunday before the 11th then from then till the 11th)   As this year is the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War there have been a lot of poppies around, I worry that for some this is almost a celebration, some sort of jingoistic looking back to when "We won the war" I will be wearing my poppy for one week in November, I will not be wearing it with pride, I will be wearing it as a sign of my support for those who were injured and sign of my remembrance of those fell, not just the British in the that awful First World War, but all those wh have died on all sides in all wars.
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