I don’t know about the rest of you, but Remembrance Day is big deal in my eyes. Whether or not you agree with the wars, or the idea of sending our men and women out to fight, the fact remains that hundreds of thousands of men and women have died over the years to ensure that we keep our freedom, and often in an attempt to secure freedom for those who do not have it.
Every year, I wear my poppy proudly to remember not just those who died for our freedom, but those who died for fighting wars they shouldn’t have had to fight. For those whose families were threatened if they did not join the war, who fought less out of agreement and more out of a lack of choice.
Poppies are important because they are a public declaration that you are choosing to honour all of those fallen men and women.
But I can’t help but find it offensive when people wear poppies in ways that are clearly more about a fashion statement and less about the reason they should be worn.
Wearing the poppy over your heart is a symbol of keeping those fallen close to your heart. Of the love, sorrow and thankfulness that goes out to those men and women.
But then, you have the people who feel that wearing a poppy over your heart isn’t good enough. Because, you know, goodness forbid that it doesn’t quite go with the outfit that you’re wearing, or you don’t like the idea of wearing a brooch-like item. Instead, they wear them like earrings, or weave them together as a necklace or a bracelet.
Or what about the people who try to wear as many poppies as they can, trying to ‘out-remember’ everyone else?
The point of the poppy isn’t to make a fashion statement. It’s not meant to make you look stylish. Wearing more poppies does not symbolize remembering more; if anything, it almost makes it into a joke.
And so, dear wearers of the poppies, this year, I am begging you — do away with the need to impress, and instead wear the poppy for exactly what it symbolizes. Don’t cheapen what it stands for by having to make it ‘better suit you’.
Sincerely, an aggravated supporter of Remembrance Day.