Poppies For Remembrance
“We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields”
You know all those freedoms we enjoy today here in North America?
Freedom of Speech; Freedom of Expression; Freedom of choice, for example?
Those freedoms were courageously upheld on our behalf by soldiers who went forth and fought oppressive and invasive regimes. Soldiers who lost their lives; soldiers who lost their limbs; soldiers who were horribly wounded; soldiers whose lives were changed forever.
The very least we can do is honour their memories one day in the entire year.
And yet, here in Canada at least, every year it seems that some large corporation tries to impose a moratorium on the selling or the wearing of the poppy.
This year it was Amazon-owned Wholefoods. And what a furor that decision created.
A Wholefoods executive decided that employees were to be banned from wearing the poppy. One such employee was extremely upset and complained. Soon there was an online and media uproar, with even Trudeau, our selfie-loving Prime Minister, expressing disappointment.
The Premier of the Province of Ontario was moved to say that he would introduce legislation to bar companies from banning employees from wearing the poppy.
Wholefoods rather quickly decided to reverse the decision, saying they “appreciated the thoughtful feedback” they received from customers. “Thoughtful feedback”? Hmmmmm.
Buy a poppy, wear a poppy.
Even if you are anti-war, remember that your freedom to express that sentiment was achieved by those soldiers who gave up their lives to give you that freedom.
The poppy has long been a nationally recognised symbol of remembrance for those who gave their lives in war.
Inspired by the World War One poem, written by Lieutenant Colonel John McRae, “In Flanders Fields”, the poppy has been used to commemorate fallen soldiers since 1921, but it has been the centre of some controversy in recent years.
In Flanders Fields
By Lieutenant Colonel John McRae
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.