The Royal British Legion, who run the Poppy Appeal, have in recent years shown a tendency to misuse the message of remembrance to encourage a pro-war, jingoistic agenda. They have now taken things a step further by using an anti-war song in a fundraising film – after taking the anti-war lyrics out.
Red, white, purple or any combination thereof. The hue of the poppy we wear should be the choice of an informed conscience. To be coerced into a symbol, for whatever reason and by whatever means, immediately invalidates its significance.
The red poppy has been compromised by political expediency and popular sentiment, suggests Jill Segger. Can we step past the current construct and rediscover the enduring meaning of remembrance and its potential to remodel our future?
When politicians rush to claim that something is 'non-political' (as has been happening around Remembrance Day over the past week or so), you know that some healthy suspicion and careful examination is due.
What must we do to understand the meaning of remembrance, to remember human suffering, and to grasp the human dignity lying so far beyond the ritual words at this time of year?, asks Jill Segger. Only painful truth-telling is adequate to the task, she says.