In recent years i have struggled with an internal conflict over whether or not to wear a poppy around Armistice Day. It is hard for me to feel anything but deep sorrow that war happens at all. It seems to me that the wearing of poppies may have become somewhat misconstrued. There seems to be less grieving and more … it almost feels like celebration … at least there is some kind of honour and heroism that goes along with it, and i find that impossible to associate with.
I know that war in the past has been necessary. I know that people were killed and injured and suffered from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in order to give us the freedoms that we enjoy today. I don’t mean to be disrespectful, and i am grateful for what these people have done, and continue to do.
Yet my far stronger emotion is a powerful dislike of war that makes me want to distance myself from it. A red poppy to me speaks too strongly of violence and bloodshed. Everything within me longs for a peaceful alternative to the horror of war. I wish there was another way: i desperately desire peace and harmony, equality and freedom for all. I understand that these may be naive desires, and i certainly don’t understand everything about the history of wars and all the reasons for wars that are happening at the moment. Still, this is how i feel.
For me there are no heroes of war, only victims.
Feel free to try and change my mind. I’m still conflicted about this and i am aware that i could be wrong. At the moment, i’m choosing to pay my respects inwardly, as i feel the outward expression may be misinterpreted for something i don’t want it to be. So, for now at least, i’m choosing not to wear a poppy.