I shall be wearing my poppy this weekend.
The has been so much written over the years about the symbolic role of the poppy, with proponents and antagonists shouting at each other about whether it has any place in today’s society. I read with shame of people burning poppies as a sign of their hatred of a supposed aggressor; it is not their politics that sadden me so much as their lack of understanding that the very reason they want to burn a poppy is exactly the reason why they should wear it.
I shall be wearing my poppy with sadness.
The poppy for me symbolises everybody who has been killed in a war. Combatants, civilians, adults, children; everybody, everywhere.
As a human being I feel I am connected to the whole of humanity; I believe in the gestalt, the whole, and if something bad happens to any part of that whole it happens to me, it happens to all of us. I wear my poppy, and I stop to think about what we have lost. It’s not about the triumph of militarism, or this nation versus that nation, this faith versus that. It is about the very essence of being a person, of belonging, of being one with. It is a recognition that something terrible has happened to each and every one of us every time someone is killed in war.
This weekend I will wear my poppy, and I shall shed a tear for humanity.