Recently the wearing of poppies as a symbol of remembrance has been in the news. In case you hadn’t heard, FIFA banned players from wearing poppies during international games. War is a complex thing, and views on pacifism are not what this article is about, but the sense of peace that is encouraged by the Royal British Legion‘s selling of poppies turns the argument of going to war on it’s head, spreading hope rather than hatred.
What’s it for?
It is easy to think, when you see heavily decorated veterans out collecting for the Poppy Appeal, that the funds go back to help their families and the purpose is for those involved in the world wars. Whilst it is true that the Royal British Legion was founded in 1921 for that purpose initially, today that is no longer the case. Navy, Air force and Army personnel are still working all over the world to maintain peace. The funds go not only to supporting rehabilitation of these soldiers who are both physically and psychologically damaged by war, but also their families.
The use of funding to support families, I believe, adds to the generosity of spirit of those who donate to the cause. Many people have families and can relate to the sense of support that funding can provide.
You can see it
It’s a funny thing, that throughout the year I see people in my local supermarket bustle past each other. Yet, when I am on the Royal British Legion stand myself, or I see others there selling poppies, the most wonderful sense of community shines through. People stop to talk, or buy things for their friends and family. In fact, I am always surprised by how generous people can be, donating whatever they can, even if they already have a poppy. For those who cannot afford to donate, they may even ask how else they can help.
So, next time you buy a poppy remember, it’s helping create a sense of community, generosity and peace. YOU are doing that.
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