Tommy, by Richard Harpum
The poem “In Flanders Fields,” by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, immortalized a symbol in the heart of Western society: the poppy.
Starting early November, depictions of the red flower are plastered everywhere in respect for the veterans living today, as well as in remembrance of the soldiers who fought and lost their lives defending our countries and our values.
Why the poppy? World War One was made up of grueling trench warfare, with opposing sides being separated by ground known as no man’s land.
No man’s land was a twisted mess of shelling, burned out shelters, abandoned vehicles, and mud. However, in all this mess of evil, poppies would often grow through the violence and death, providing a ray of light in this dark time for mankind.
To honour the brave men and women who stand up for our beliefs, most citizens choose to wear a poppy on their coats for the month. In England, club soccer teams wear special editions of their regular jerseys adorned with a poppy on the chest, often bigger or more represented than the clubs’ logo.
Up until this year, FIFA allowed the English National Team to wear poppies on their uniforms in international matches, but due to rules against national teams making political statements, they will no longer be allowed to.
This seems like blatant disrespect to the memory of those who fought and died defending the rights of the very group which now looks to ban their honour.
That’s because it is.
However, companies and organizations must look out for their best interests, and because they represent nations across the globe, the ban is precautionary.
People are not organizations or companies. They have only their interest at heart. Their interests, which even the most radical Western citizens would agree, were defended by our soldiers and our militaries.
So most people would find it not only irritating, but downright disrespectful and disgusting, when during a political science lecture, a second year student answers the question “what does the poppy mean?” by saying, “the rebirth of fascism!” in a triumphant voice. Worse than that is the professor, agreeing with him.
When the student was asked why he thinks what he does, he answered with empty words and no substance. His biggest talking point was that the poppy only promotes nationalism, which will always turn into too much belief in one’s country and eventually fascism. He finished his argument by stating: “This is exactly how Hitler rose to power. By making the people believe in the might of Germany again.”
This is obviously an extreme example of the anti-nationalist belief, and I do think/believe that instances of this are few and far between, but even one anti-veteran fighter is worth addressing.
To all soldiers who have fought or stand to fight for our values: thank you for your service. Take pride in the sacrifices you’ve made, and know that all you’ve done is greatly appreciated by many, many citizens.
One of the most important attributes we need is respect. Unsurprisingly, that is the one value people lack the most in today’s society—especially our youth. Respect your parents, your grandparents, your defenders, and your country.
Wear a poppy, and be thankful for what has been sacrificed so we can live how we do today.
The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.