Display of poppy should be personal choice

At this time of year news anchors, politicians, public officials and much of the general public have donned the poppy.

To the Editor:

At this time of year news anchors, politicians, public officials and much of the general public have donned the poppy.

I have worn a poppy as a symbol of remembrance for those who died serving our nation amidst our many armed conflicts.

One time, the little red flower slipped off the jacket I was wearing  One of my work colleagues noticed, asking why I was not wearing a poppy. I had not noticed it was missing.

What if people made a conscious decision not to wear one?  Would it bother you? Do you feel it is disrespectful not to wear a red poppy?

What about the white poppy? The British Women’s Co-operative Guild introduced it in 1933.

In Canada, many who have adopted the white poppy tradition are uncomfortable with the conventional Remembrance Day focus on remembering only “our” soldiers. They feel it is important to remember others who suffer in war, especially now, when most casualties are civilians.

I would like to think that there was room on Remembrance Day to remember the sacrifices of soldiers and inspire a more peaceful future.  I certainly do not think wearing a white poppy is any disrespect to veterans.

The Royal Canadian Legion has been vocal in its opposition to the white poppy. They see it as an invasion of trademark. They argue that the traditional poppy holds a deep symbolic meaning for the average Canadian, and should not be modified in any way to promote a different cause. The red poppies are a significant fundraiser for the legion. The competition is not welcome.

You can fashion your own simple white poppy if you like.

I got my white poppies from The Voice of Women in Vancouver at 604-437-4453.

In my Canada, I feel free to wear either a red poppy or a white poppy or both.

Dave Cursons, Cawston


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