As we get closer to Remembrance Day, poppies are being worn on Londoner’s chests to show their respect for our fallen heroes. For decades we have been familiar with the red poppy, but now white ones are popping up all over Canada.
After the first world war, the poppy was adopted as a symbol of remembrance. A Canadian doctor, Lt Col John McCrae became inspired by the flower and decided to write a poem called In Flanders Fields. This poem inspired the red poppies to be brought to England by a French woman named Anna Guerin.
In Flanders’ fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place: and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders’ fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe;
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high,
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders’ Fields.
For decades since, people have worn the red poppy during the autumn season but now white poppies have been popping up as well.
White poppies were initially introduced as a way to represent peace and support the idea that war must not happen again.
Now there have been conversations about how wearing white poppies is a symbol of acknowledging all the lives lost in the war. Red poppies typically represent fallen soldiers, but white poppies are said to represent all victims of war. The Royal British Legion stated that they have no preference on which colour poppy is worn, but some people have a different opinion.
There has been much controversy surrounding the topic as some people believe that Remembrance Day is meant for fallen soldiers, not civilians. In London, there still seems to be an overwhelming number of red poppies being worn.
Remembrance day is Sunday, November 11, 2018.