Remembrance Day is important. It is intended for us to remember, respect and be thankful for everyone those whom war has affected. It is all inclusive: those who fought, those who lost their lives, those who lost loved ones.
Over the years, there have been some who have wanted to change the traditional red poppy to white for peace, black for persons with darker skin, purple for war animals. Most recently, in Canada, there has been controversy over a suggested rainbow poppy to recognize those of the LGBT community. The red poppy was never intended to be divisive.
While poppies do grow in other colours, the traditional red poppy comes from “In Flanders Fields”, a war poem written by Canadian physician Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae.
My poppy is red like the ones Lt. Col. John McCrae saw when he wrote his poem. I am sure he was referring to all those who died, not even thinking about the colour of their skin, their gender or sexual orientation.
I will not be distracted by people who want to make a controversy about anything and everything. You can wear any colour poppy you like. I don’t care. You can wear as many as you please. Queen Elizabeth II has worn as many as five. I will wear one and it will be red. It represents those that died fighting to make our world a better place. It represents the respect I have for all, regardless of race, gender, creed, or sexual orientation, who fought so that I could live in a free society.
Sometimes tradition is best. At the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month, for 2 minutes I will bow my head and solemnly thank those who put their lives at risk for me.