Like most do at the beginning of November, I'm wearing a poppy. I thought it was an internationally recognized symbol of remembrance, apparently I was wrong. Twice tonight while working at the hotel, I've had guests ask me what the flower is and why myself and others are wearing it. This surprised me.
"In Flanders fields, the poppies blow. Between the crosses, row on row."
Growing up we all knew the poem, we all know what it and the poppies have come to symbolize. It's been an accepted fact for all of my thirty three years.
I had to ask one guest who asked me about it where he was from, he said he was American. That doesn't explain it though because the other person traveling with him looked at him and asked "How do you not know what a poppy is?" He was American as well.
The other guest who questioned it was from Quebec, so I really don't get that they have never seen a poppy.
It's one of those questions I never thought I'd be asked. Water is wet, the sun rises in the east, bowties are cool, poppies symbolize remembrance. These are all common knowledge (ok maybe not the bowties thing) but my point, and my question is; how can someone not know what a poppy is and why we wear them?
Personally I wear mine to honour the memory of two grandfathers and a great uncle. To honour friends who wear their countries uniforms today. To show that I haven't forgotten the price paid for the freedoms I enjoy today.
We salute those who came before us and those yet to come.
And remember the price paid for the peace we have won.
We honour those who paid in blood, and those who brought them home,
From the places where the winds of bitter war have blown
The sacrifices that were made will never disappear,
From the memories of those who lost someone they hold dear.
We must never take for granted the lives that we lead,
For we would not have them now without those courageous deeds
And to the next generation we pass on the memory,
Of those who gave their lives so that we may live free.
So the world will remember, with sorrow and regret.
The loss of those brave men, Lest We Forget.