Sunday, July 21, 2013

1914 - 2014 Red Poppy - White Poppy

I recently received this e-mail:

Dear Sir / Madam
2014 marks the 100th anniversary of the start of World War I.
I have contacted you to invite you to take part in the commemoration of the start of the War, and at the same time remembering the tremendous loss of life, including many local people, who perished as a result of it. The Government are organising a number of events to mark the start of the conflict but I was hoping that the residents of East Lindsey could unite in our own tribute.
The idea for this came from my 14 year old niece, Molly, whilst we were discussing the war and the fact that her Great Great Grandfather was killed in the war, only a month before it finished.
Her idea is that we encourage, through contacting Parish Councils within East Lindsey, to plant pots of red poppies at the entrance to Churches, Village Halls, Local Businesses and even ask that residents take part. With the support of Parish Councils we feel we could almost "turn East Lindsey red". I am contacting all Town and Parish Councils within East Lindsey to ask them to take on this project within their community, by publicising it with local information and maybe even by providing a quantity of poppy seeds for local residents.  I am proud that Molly feels strong enough about her Great Great Grandfather that she wants to be involved in remembering him in this way.
The poppy seeds would need to be planted in the Spring to flower in July and August. The official date the War started was 28th July 1914.  Obviously we chose the red poppy because of its link with remembering the war dead, and thought that this would be a relatively simple and inexpensive way for people to be able to take part.  We are contacting local press, radio and television in the hope that their support will advertise what we are hoping to achieve.  I am sure that everyone has a distant relative who was involved in the First World War, and feel that this would be a good way of showing that they may have paid the ultimate sacrifice, but they will never be forgotten.
Yours Faithfully

It seems to me a splendid idea.  My grandfather, Major W. F. Vernon, played his part in the First World War and, in peacetime, was a keen gardener.  I'm sure he would have approved.  I'm also sure he would have liked it better still if white poppies were to be sown amongst the red, symbolising both our remembrance of past horrors and determination that never again will they be repeated.

Before rushing to rash judgement, a little investigation of the history of the white poppy may be in order. Please read this short piece and perhaps follow some of the links there-from.


Blogger biffvernon said...

In response, Sarah Goodley sent this poem:

The Silence,

The silence as we remember the ones that have passed, the hurt, the damaged, the maimed.
The silence as we fail to ask why this was allowed to be, it was not any sane persons gain.
The silence when we asked how many times our brave souls are sent fourth on the back of a lie.
The silence of the onlooker while the mother wails, yet another child has had to die.
The silence of the hero when asked by those with eyes wide, “how was the war for you?”
The silence full of pain and torment having to remember the shame of what they had to do.
The silence when the hero returns damaged from what they have heard, felt and seen.
The silence when the trauma plays out behind the doors of the family, with no one to lean.
The silence from the parents when we see our children play over and over the killing games.
The silence as the concerned inquire, are we being desensitised from the reality of the pain?
The silence when we ask who profits from all of this war and disaster they artificially create.
The silence when we understand the ones that sell the arms are the same that rebuild the state.
The silence, stunned when we find our work and toil for generations we have had to pay.
The silence, oh yes, the freedom we have been told we are fighting for is slavery in another way.
The silence when we turn off the media of propaganda and control of spirit and mind.
The silence as we realise the answers to peace harmony and love we all have inside.
The silence is broken when we stand up, humanity, all of one stellar energy we know to be.
The silence no more when unable to divide and conquer great things to co- create we see.
The silence prison of fear, isolation and trauma at last we are free by the means of love and care.
The silence at last, now positive, of love, peace, tranquillity, harmony, health, and wealth we share.
(Holding their red and white poppies together)
Sarah Goodley 13th November 2011.

8:00 pm  

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