Red Poppies

Every November, I wear a red poppy.  I believe in peace, I believe in diplomacy, but I also believe that the world and its problems are coloured in shades of grey, and so I do not wear a white poppy.

I am a peaceful person.  I believe that I promote peace, understanding, and compassion in my everyday life.  Wearing a red poppy does not indicate anti-peace or pro-war sentiments.  It does not indicate political leanings or beliefs.  It indicates respect; respect for the veterans, respect for the peacekeepers, respect for Canada as a peacekeeping, diplomatic nation. 

I wear a red poppy because I have respect for those who believe in something so strongly they are willing to sacrifice everything for it.  A friend of my husband’s has served in Afghanistan.  He truly believes that the Canadian presence there is making a difference.  I may or may not agree with the politics, I may or may not agree with the decision to send troops to Afghanistan, but I respect the fact that there are people who truly believe that they are helping to end a ghastly regime and to rebuild a country.  Who am I to say that they are wrong, sitting in my comfortable, warm house with enough to eat and with healthy, strong children?  Who am I to judge what they are doing when I live a life of ease and happiness?

I wear a red poppy because I have respect for the old men with red-rimmed eyes standing at attention in their uniforms.  These men have seen things that I cannot even imagine.  They followed their sense of duty and served in ways that are obscenely horrific.  There is no glory, no glamour, in war.

I wear a red poppy to show respect to the mothers of the fallen.  I have two sons.  I live a charmed life.  I know that if I lived in another era perhaps my sons would be drafted.  Maybe I would end up with no sons, or maybe they would come home to me, irreparably damaged.  When I see a veteran license plate, I think of the mother who cried with joy when her child came home.

In November I wear a red poppy.

Comments

  1. This is beautifully written. I agree with you 100%.

  2. Truly a wonderfully written post.

  3. What a great post!

  4. Yep.

  5. I hope you always continue to wear a red poppy in November.

  6. Exactly this.

  7. Beautifully said. Thank you!

  8. *nodding*

  9. Beautiful post.

  10. Wonderful post. I wear a poppy for all the same reasons and for my Granddad.

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