Lancashire Times
A Voice of the Free Press
Jan Harris
Deputy Group Editor
12:00 AM 11th November 2023

Why Poppies For Remembrance Day?

Have you ever wondered why the red poppy for Remembrance Day? Wearing a poppy shows support for the Armed Forces community.

Image by Peter Dargatz from Pixabay
Image by Peter Dargatz from Pixabay
Remembrance Day

Remembrance Day or Armistice Day is always observed on the 11 November each year because it was on that date in 1918 that the hostilities formally ended - 'at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month'.

This day has been observed ever since the end of the First World War to remember all the members of the armed forces who have died in the line of duty.

Image by Uwe T. from Pixabay
Image by Uwe T. from Pixabay
The poppy is:

A symbol of Remembrance and hope
Hope for a positive future and peaceful world
Worn by millions of people
Red because of the natural colour of field poppies
A delicate resilient flower that grows amidst chaos and destruction

A Canadian doctor called Lt Col John McCrae in 1915 lost his friend Ypres. He wrote a poem which is now the famous poem 'In Flanders Fields' which was inspired by seeing lots of poppies growing in fields where the battles had been.

In Flanders Fields
The poem by John McCrae

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.

Why different coloured poppies?

Red - a symbol of remembrance and hope for a peaceful future
Purple - to remember animal victims of war
Black - remembering African, Black and Caribbean communities
White -remembers people who died in conflict with a focus on an end to war

Photo by Michael Day
Photo by Michael Day
Remembrance Service at the Cenotaph

Every year on the Sunday following Remembrance Day there is a National Service of Remembrance held at the Cenotaph in Whitehall. This year in 2023 Armistice Day actually falls at the weekend. This service is a reminder to the nation that all are remembered who have served and sacrificed for their country.

Recycle your poppy

Image by Kelvin Stuttard from Pixabay
Image by Kelvin Stuttard from Pixabay
The Royal British Legion are committed to reduce the impact of single use plastic on the environment and with the launch of the 2023 poppy appeal there is the new plastic-free poppy. It is made entirely from paper and is available alongside stock of the existing poppy so as to reduce waste. If you have one of the original poppies they can be recycled, so after Remembrance Sunday take them along to any Sainsbury's supermarket.

Some people choose to wear one of the enamel poppy pins which are available and then make a donation to the British Legion every year.

So wear your poppy with pride this Remembrance Day.

More information can be found here

Image by Thomas from Pixabay
Image by Thomas from Pixabay