It’s a well-established tradition to wear a poppy at this time of year. Historically it has symbolised the memory of the victims of war, particularly the First and Second World Wars.
It was first adopted shortly after the end of the First World War, and it represented grief, regret and respect to those who had died for their country.
As memories began to fade, the poppy took on a subtle new meaning for some. It morphed into a symbol of pride, and you were considered unpatriotic if you didn’t wear one.
Some say that the poppy now gives the military a thumbs up, and that it sanitises war and makes it almost acceptable.
France adopted the cornflower, which has been used as the symbol for the young French army recruits, who arrived at the Front from 1915 onwards. They were called “bleuets” – because of the new blue version of jackets.
Which ever way your thoughts lie, sadly what started off as a symbol of hope for no more wars, has become somewhat of a social divider, and a political hotcake.
Next year is the 100th anniversary of the end of the first world war, and I for one hope that the whole poppy debate doesn’t get in the way of quiet contemplation. That is if Trump and Kim-Jong-Un haven’t already created another war to crush our forlorn hope that as a race we might have learnt something in the last 100 years.