Written by Tom Jennings
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the signing of the armistice treaty which ended the First World War, and as such we should be making more of an effort than ever to give thanks to the sacrifice of generations before us whose sacrifice changed the world we live in today.
I therefore have no time or patience for those who gloat in the alt-remembrance white poppy appeal, for which none of the proceeds go to serving or ex-service personnel or their families, but to a campaign full of the misplaced rhetoric that current service personnel have no place in our schools or universities nor deserve thanks and celebration in our communities.
Some may wrongly feel that the red poppy has become a symbol of praise for our military more so than a symbol to remember our war dead, and may therefore be attracted to wearing a white poppy.
To that, I would argue that as socialists we endeavour to show our solidarity to those in time of struggle, of which protecting our national security is one of the most taxing and dangerous. It is a duty which most of us will never undertake ourselves, and hopefully never be called upon to do so.
Thus, if my wearing a red poppy is taken as a sign of respect and solidarity by service personnel past and present, then that should be all the more reason to wear a red poppy.
The British Legion attempts to steer clear of the white poppy appeal, which feeds off the controversy it generates and the sensationalism that comes with it, all of which distracts from the true meaning of remembrance.
I acknowledge that some may argue that this blog hypocritically fans the flames of such sensationalism, but on a topic so sensitive where the potential for the rejection of the official poppy appeal, one cannot be silent and neither should you.
This year, as well as buying a red poppy, help curb the white poppy sensationalism online and use your social media platforms to promote the British Legion’s #ThankYou100 campaign.
In an ever-expanding world, social media is bound to play a role in how we engage with remembrance, but our support for our armed forces should stay as consistent as the red poppies that continue to grow on the battlefields of the First World War.