I would appreciate the opportunity to share information on the white poppy, in an effort to explain the reason why some of us choose to wear it, often alongside the red poppy, during Veterans Week, namely “because remembering is important, but it isn’t enough.”
Wearing a white poppy “commemorates all victims of war; mourns the environmental devastation it causes; rejects war as a tool for social change; calls for dialog and peaceful conflict resolution; shows commitment to building a better future because remembering is important, but it isn’t enough.”
For those of us who remember being under the bombs of the Second World War, recalling the stilled faces in uniform peering back at us from photo frames afterwards, the history of the white poppy is worth retelling:
“In Britain, after the First World War, the idea for a white peace poppy arose from the concerns of the wives, mothers, sisters and loved ones of men who had died.
“Increasingly aware of the likelihood of another war (despite assurances this was “the war to end all wars”) they chose this symbol, ‘as a pledge to peace that war must not happen again.'”
In 1934 the first campaign to distribute white poppies for peace was launched. Seventy-five years later, the world has seen over 300 wars, and the killing of more than 200 million people.
The white poppy bears the simple inscription “peace.”