In recent years people have shifted restlessly beneath the sea of red poppies displayed during this season of remembrance. Whether it is ideology of war, the unnecessary deaths or political puppetry which goes on behind closed doors which makes them squirm, the initial murmur against the flower has snowballed into a loud and audible voice.
But could it be possible that people are missing the point of the poppy entirely.
The poppy isn’t for us. It isn’t to make a political point, to share a religious belief, to demonstrate an economic position. It isn’t to do with our opinions, our personal grievances. It doesn’t look to excuse or to place blame or to find a reason in the midst of the chaos and bloodshed.
The poppy isn’t ours, the poppy belongs to them.
If we stepped outside the small world which we think we are the centre of, we would see the quiet generation of grieving men and women standing in smart coats on a cold day to remember. Strip away the bravado of sacrifice and patriotism and you are left with a loss, a death. Not some twisted and dark thing but a grievance. Soon the faces they grieve for will be lost to us. The small red flower is all we can offer as compensation.
And while people can shout against the horrors of war, if we want a reason to remember them, they were the ones that fought to end war too. I don’t think its fair to trial the fallen when they can’t answer. This clamour of voices wanting to be heard is drowning out the simplicity of the gesture.
I choose to wear a poppy lest I forget. There is nothing else behind the flower pinned onto my lapel.