Why wear a poppy

Since the First World War ended in November 1918 the month has been the time for remembering all who have fought and died in conflicts. 2015 in particular marked the 100th Anniversary of the ill-fated Gallipoli Landings in Turkey by Australian, British, French, Indian and New Zealand Forces, the 75th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain and the 70th Anniversary of Victory over Japan (VJ Day). Royal British Legion poppies are on sale at many places throughout Switzerland every year in October and November, so please don’t turn away but give for a very worthy cause. Nowadays most of the injuries British Servicemen and women have sustained were received on Peacekeeping Missions in such places as Bosnia, or other more recent conflicts such Iraq, Afghanistan, etc.  They may well be receiving injuries as you read this.  They need your support.

The poem below says it all:

Michael Type

 

REMEMBER AND GIVE

 

"Please wear a poppy", the lady said and held one forth but I shook my head. Then I stopped and watched as she offered them there and her face was old and lined with care.

But beneath the scars the years had made there remained a smile that refused to fade.

A boy came whistling down the street, bouncing along on carefree feet.

His smile was full of joy and fun; "Lady", he said "May I have one?"

When she pinned it on he turned to say, "Why do we wear a poppy today?"

 

The lady smiled in her wistful way and answered, "This is Remembrance Day and the poppy there is the symbol for the gallant men who died in War. And because they did, you and I are free; that's why we wear a poppy, you see.

I had a boy about your size with golden hair and big blue eyes. He loved to play and jump and shout;

free as a bird he would race about. As the years went by he learned and grew and became a man, as you will too.

He was fine and strong, with a boyish smile but he seemed to be with us such a little while. When War broke out he went away; I still remember his face that day when he smiled at me and said, "Goodbye. I'll be back soon, Mum, so please don't cry".

But the War went on and he had to stay and all I could do was wait and pray. His letters told of the awful fight; I see it still in my dreams at night with the tanks and guns and cruel barbed wire and mines and bullets, the bombs and fire. Till, at last, the War was won. So that's why we wear a poppy, son.”

The small boy turned as if to go then said, "Thanks lady, I'm glad to know. That sure did sound an awful fight but your son, did he come back alright?"

A tear rolled down the faded cheek. She shook her head but did not speak.

I slunk away, feeling sick with shame and if you'd been me, you'd have done the same for our thanks in giving is oft delayed though our Freedom was bought and thousands paid.

And so when you see a poppy worn, try to think of the burden borne by those who gave their very "all"

when asked to respond to their country's call that we at home in Peace might live.

So, wear a poppy - "Remember and give.”