The Poppy has been a symbol of Remembrance since 1915 when Canadian doctor, John McCrae, inspired by their growth on the battlefields, wrote ‘In Flanders Fields’.
To this day The Poppy is worn by millions as a symbol of Remembrance and Sacrifice. It does not serve to glorify war, but to remind us of its great price; A price paid by so many. More recently, the Red Poppy has been joined by the White Poppy but how many of us really know the components of The Poppy and the elements of Remembrance they represent?
The Red Petals – Represents blood of those who gave their lives.
The Black Center – Displays the mourning of those left behind.
The Green Leaf – Serves as a reminder of the grass and crops that grow as a symbol of new beginnings after a period of such loss.
How to Wear it – Did you know the Leaf is meant to be worn at the 11 O’clock position to represent the 11th Hour, of 11th Day, of 11th Month when WW1 formally ended?
The White Poppy – The White Poppy was introduced by the Peace Pledge Union and symbolises three main elements. Remembrance for all victims of war, a commitment to peace and a challenge to attempts to glamorise or celebrate war.
In conclusion, there has been controversy about the Poppy in recent times and maybe it has caused us to lose sight of the importance of Remembrance. So maybe this year, whatever Poppy you choose to wear, whatever your perspective, let’s take a moment to close our mouths and open our hearts. And let’s take a moment to remember the fathers, sons and brothers who never returned to their families after conflict.
Because if a world divided by differences, Remembrance is something that, regardless of everything else, are all capable of – together. – A Skinny Buddha
The full version of ‘In Flanders Fields’ can be found here: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/47380/in-flanders-fields