Today, I’m wearing my poppy with pride. Or as much pride as one can muster with tape on the end of the pin so it doesn’t slide out of my shirt. My boob has a tendency to reject poppies, but I think it’s more a matter of logistics than any beliefs in pacifism.
A number of people are against the poppy because they are against war in general, but I don’t feel as though I’m supporting war-mongers by wearing the little plastic flower that waved between the crosses, row on row.
I don’t like war. I’d much prefer that humans settle their differences in a more peaceful and civilized fashion than by raping and pillaging. Obviously my naive wish for peace and happiness (and dancing unicorns) is just that, a naive wish. Unfortunately, I know such a thing as harmony will never become a reality in my lifetime. And if history is any indication, it will never happen in anyone’s lifetime.
Even in my own life, I prefer to avoid conflict. I’d rather not fight. It usually doesn’t accomplish much aside from hurt feelings.
However, despite my dislike of wars and fighting in general, I still wear my poppy with pride.
With a lot of pride.
My maternal grandfather fought in the war, and I know it had to be tough. He came home and never said much about fighting the Germans. I think that speaks for itself.
The brother of my maternal grandmother was torpedoed, and spent the rest of his life unable to work despite no physical limitations. That also speaks for itself.
War is ugly business. People die, starve, and get raped.
Wearing a red poppy doesn’t mean I support war. It does mean that I’m a supporter of those who have fought in wars. I want to show my appreciation because wars are awful for the victors and the losers. If you live, you’re bound to be scarred, physically, and above all, mentally.
Donations to the Legion don’t make me feel as though I’m eager for the military to wage war on foreign lands.
It does mean that I’m aware of what war means to humans. And the little plastic flower reminds me that life isn’t all about sunshine and rainbows—it is about remembering the past, otherwise we’re doomed to repeat it.