Monday, 9 November 2015

What it means to me...

I do not condone war, I do not celebrate war, I do not support war...

So why do I wear a poppy?

My grandfather was in the army during World War II and he was a part of the D Day landings so yesterday on Remembrance Sunday I remembered him and the role that he played in fighting for our freedom, in being a part of a bigger force of people that fought for our country and defended us from being invaded.   Did he join up through choice or was he called to arms?  I am not sure.  I do know that he came back from the war with a heap load of memories, most of which he would never talk about and I can understand that because I cannot even begin to imagine what horrific sights he saw and terrible events he experienced.  In those days there were no counsellors or support afterwards...you were just handed a de-mob suit and a five bob note on your way back home.

Whilst he was away fighting my grandmother joined the NAAFI (a group that ran canteens, shops and clubs on military bases) and she also worked in a factory, which is where she lost the fingers on one of her hands in the machinery (no health and safety then).

To me my grandparents were part of a nation that fought for what it believed in, whether on the front lines or back at home keeping the country running they all worked towards a common goal.  On the front lines men stood side by side - many different nationalities and religions and many allies - all fighting for freedom for their country.  

The people didn't ask for war, they didn't vote for war but when the situation arose they stood up and were counted.  Those people make me proud to be British.

I teach my children about their great grandparents and in fact their schools teach them about the wars too, future generations need to know what was at stake and what kind of nation we were and how important remembering and honouring those that came before us is, we were a proud and united country.

I wear the poppy in remembrance of all those that fought for my freedom, for me to be able to live in the country that I do today in the way that I am able to.  I remember those that fought, I remember those that fell and I honour them for doing so.

If you choose not to wear a poppy or honour those that went to war that is your choice, your right, your freedom to do so and I will not judge...it is those rights and that freedom that was being fought for...

I will wear my poppy with pride and I will wave my Union Jack with the same proudness - if it offends you then that is your issue not mine...

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