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Poppy Guilt

Every year at about this time, the Poppy Guilt Parade begins. You know, the old men and ladies who glare at you because you do NOT have a poppy somewhere on your person.

Most years, I buy the damn thing just so I do NOT get those looks. But not this year, nope, not gonna do it. As any Canadian knows, you will lose every single one that you buy, therefore necessitating the purchase of a new one. I hate that.

Don't take this to mean that I do not appreciate our veterans. I do. As an avid reader of histories, I am well aware of the sacrifice, and what these people did do. I sit here staring out the window at the cold wet rain, trying to imagine running through the mud at Vimy, trying to see through eyes full of tears, and mud and gore. Some poor kid,18, face to face with a german soldier who is just as scared and confused and so not ready to die.

So I know what happened, and I actually think about it a lot. What I find highly offensive are the looks I get for now wearing the poppy. I believe our government should do more, but at the same time, when does it end? How many times have you been cut off by someone with Veterans plates. How many times have you had someone be totally fucking rude to you, because they feel entitled?

I felt the same way about the "What does Nov 11 mean to you?" essays all through school. Nov 11 meant what people wanting me to think it meant. It meant write some cheesy essay to make your teachers happy, much the same as wearing the Poppy makes other people leave you alone. Yes, there is sacrifice, and there is sadness and horror, but that happens every day. It happened in Rwanda-no one cared. It happens time after time after time, but no one stops it. Shouldn't THAT be the legacy of those who fought, who bled for their, and our, freedom? Instead of making me feel like shit when I go to get a coffee?

They don't know me. I don't know them, and likely they're the 98% of veterans who don't treat people like crap. But I can make that assumption, just like they can.

Really read McCrae's poem. It means more than your teachers ever told you.

In Flanders Field 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.
Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918) Canadian Army
"Tell them this, if ye break faith with us who die, we shall not sleep."

i'd give you an A on this essay!!

I couldn't give a flying f*ck about buying a poppy each year. To me it just an outward sign saying that you remember. Some years I'll buy one and others I won't.
That being said, the thing I do every year is to go up to one of the veterans selling poppies and shake his hand. I thank him for the sacrifice he made and ask him a few questions about what it was like for him over there. You wouldn't believe how a gesture as simple as that could bring so much joy to another human being. And I am the recipient of some amazing war stories.
It's not about the poppy, it's about what's inside each of us.

Ditto Cycleguy! I do the same thing. Whenever I see one of our men or women in the service, i thank them for all they are sacrificing to keep us a free nation. They need to know that we are thinking of them.

Great post!

Hmm... I just don't know, does the wearing off a poppy signify your rememberance for those that died in the 1st and 2nd World Wars, or is it about all wars now?

I don't know anything about poppys, but I know Thordora is RIGHT when she says BEN STILLER SUCKS! Bwahahaha!!!

Cycle Guy: That's a great idea. I thought about it all weekend, and that's exactly what we will do next year, or anytime we run into veterans....I'm wanting to have my children "volunteer" cheering up old folks anyway, which would be a great chance to meet veterans without pressure....

Herge: I don't think anyone even knows anymore....I believe it's meant to represent all wars....I just find McCrae's poem more touching than any of us ever really read in school, since we were forced to every freaking year.....

and yes, Ben Stiller will ALWAYS SUCK BALLS

As a former cadet, I can say that I did my share to support and appreciate the vets. I always will. In my own way.

But I haven't worn a poppy this year either because, like you, I also lost my poppy EVERY year. Without fail. Where do all the lost poppies go? Is it like the lost sock in the dryer? Is there a million poppies in lost and found somewhere? Is there a place where these poppies travel to die?

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