11.06.2013

Lest We Forget?

You claim it is a symbol of peace.  You say the intent is not to offend, yet you say you don’t care if offense is taken.  You say we don’t understand the reason behind the white poppy.

We do.

From your pseudo-intellectual cocoon, full of like-minded self-described ‘elites’ who have no more knowledge or appreciation of Remembrance Day than yourself, you create the perfect symbol of disrespect for those who gave you everything you have.

Shall I tell the story of the members of my extended family who fought?  Are the tales of real heroes, some who came home and many who did not, really necessary to repeat?  Would stories of a generation of warriors who heard the call and sacrificed their lives have any benefit to those who refuse to hear?

Perhaps I should talk of my Grandfather.  Despite multiple attempts to enlist, he was refused on medical basis and could not join his brothers and fellow countrymen in the ‘battle for the world’.  So crushed was he, it remained one of his biggest regrets in life right until the end. 

Would it help if I were to go into great detail regarding his willingness to join the fight to ensure our freedoms and liberties, and the devastation he felt not being able to?  Would you even be able to comprehend how he felt?

I doubt it.  The young, impressionable minds who sit in your university and college auditoriums can be forgiven for not understanding the weight of the Red poppy.  They have never had their freedoms endangered.  They have never had to fight for anything.  They are the ‘entitled’ generation who have no knowledge of real oppression.

But you know better.  You are much older, more experienced, and presumably wiser.  You understand the meaning of Remembrance Day.  You grew up honouring our Heroes every November 11th.  You have been educated on the meaning of ‘courage’ and ‘sacrifice’.  You know what the day means and what the Red poppy represents.

You choose to misrepresent.

You take the invaluable gifts our past generations gave you, paid for with their blood, and you twist it into something unrecognizable.

You know the truth: the Red poppy is symbolic of the sacrifice others made.  It does not glorify war – it represents the ultimate price paid.

It symbolizes the very freedoms and liberties you now exploit for your own socio-political purposes.  That is the ultimate in disrespect.

My benefit from their victory is no greater than yours, my liberty no more important.  So I will not do what you and your kind often do and attempt to ban the white poppy.  I am much too grateful for the sacrifice made by our fallen Heroes to do that.

But I will use the same freedoms that you tarnish to mock you and those like you.  The Greatest Generation is quickly disappearing and their voices are becoming quieter, so I will proudly fulfill my debt and obligation to these men and women by respecting their sacrifice.  I will spotlight your apathy of their experience and what they achieved.

I will point out how you use your freedom to attack and disrespect the very people who gave those freedoms to you.

I know the reason behind the white poppy.  It stands for ingratitude and nothing more.

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His Name Was Steven