The sanctimonious poppy police should perhaps spend more time in quiet remembrance
For some, it is an acutely specific tribute to those who lost their lives during the Great War. For others, it represents the sacrifice that any serviceman or woman has made for their country from that time forth. Others still perceive it as a very direct way of donating to an extremely worthy cause.
Sadly, the beautifully poignant and purposely humble symbol of the poppy has added connotations these days. Rather being an icon of pure remembrance, it has become an ominous precursor to rage, rushed judgement, sanctimony and frothing hatred. The only thing people remember is to get vexed.
Some folk choose to wear poppies, some do not. In previous years and decades that wasn't really an issue. Sadly no more. We now live in an age when those with far too much bitterness in their hearts and time on their hands engage in furious crusades to dictate how others look, feel and behave. They are the poppy police.
They want everyone to adorn themselves with the tribute, and demand that the small red flower is pinned absolutely everywhere - without exception. It is their strong belief that anyone sans poppy is a heartless bastard who needs to be outed and condemned for mocking the dead via their unpatriotic inaction.
The irony of remembering those who fought against fascism in such a totalitarian way is completely lost on them. Nor do they seem to accept that the physical replica of a poppy is not the be-all and end-all of remembrance. If you don't wear the poppy you can't possibly care; an empty lapel marks you out as heartless.
The likes of Irish international footballer James McClean is branded an enemy in our midst for opting out, despite the fact that he has very personal and valid reasons not to participate. For many it would be far preferable for the Derry man to act as a tremendous hypocrite and wear one regardless.
The sanctimonious poppy police should perhaps spend more time in quiet remembrance | JOE.co.uk