Friday, October 27, 2006

Still worth remembering

Buying a poppy cross to remember ones helps those in still in need

The Royal British Legion had various launches of its 2006 annual Poppy Appeal at the end of October. In my own area of Cumbria, the RBL involved local schoolchildren as well as British Legion collectors, civic dignitaries and former service veterans. Below are a few personal views about this.

Although a proportion of the general people have the idea that the Poppy Appeal is largely about WW1 and WW2 it is more than that. The funds that are raised provide much good - often unseen – help to former servicemen and their families from any period from the First World War to the present day. I know of several people who have been able to get some modest help that has made a big difference to their quality of life. At the launch of the 2006 Poppy Appeal I read in the newspaper some of the people who are being helped are young servicemen in their mid twenties. Servicemen and women can be in need at a young age as much as those who are not so young.

Encouraging younger people to take an interest in the ‘Annual Remembrance’ is surely the only way it will ever survive. In some respects it is more important that the younger generations learn and remember what the Remembrance Services are about. At the very least, the people who made such great sacrifices in their service for the country are still worth remembering.


Blogger Tomcann said...

Joseph -
In our area the poppy campaign kicks off with a service in the local park and is attended by the usual suspects - then just about everyone starts to wear their poppies. This year the emphasis is on the casualties in Afghanistan.
We do not have the veterans who suffer extreme poverty as they are well looked after by the Dept of Veterans Affairs which has a rather large budget, and they spend it wisely.For example a friend in the Cdn Artillery hurt his back on a scheme in Ontario - applied for disability - received $6000.oo lump sum and $1200(585GBP) per month - on TOP of his OAPension of some $800(390GBP) - when he died that pension reverted to the widow, so they know how to look after the people who did the job.
this year the November 11th services are as usual, held in the local High School and the WW2 and more recent veterans are asked to stand, in turn.for the audience which is invariably more than half the village, to do them honour.
Then everyone marches to the cenotaph for the wreath laying, finishing up at the Legion Hall for a donation buffet lunch and hot buttered rums !
Plus the usual lies of what our Willie did in Normandy !

Friday, 27 October, 2006  
Blogger Frank Mee said...

We wear the Poppy with pride in our area. We had a lot of Infantry Regiments raised in the North during the war with the resultant high casualties.
As with a lot of people around here I make a regular contribution all year round as well as during the collection period.
That charity needs regular contributions and even more so when we are suffering so many losses in Iraq and Afghanistan not forgetting the troops still in the Balkans and other parts of the world. For every death you can count on at least four injured some permanantly. The government gives the usual paltry hand outs so the Poppy fund is a Godsend.
People should remember the sacrifices still being made to keep them safe in their homes.

Saturday, 28 October, 2006  
Blogger Tomcann said...

I have been asked by the local newspaper to write an article to commemorate Armistice day here in Agassiz - to remind the young that it was not a game but a deadly serious situation whereby common folk left everything to fight the evil, their thoughts and the people they met and their feelings on returning home -
Should be an interesting addition to the usual run of the mill happenings in a small village !

Wednesday, 01 November, 2006  
Blogger Peter G said...


I look forward to seeing your article posted here, providing that it doesn't infringe the paper's copyright. Perhaps giving them a mention should help.

Wednesday, 01 November, 2006  
Blogger Tomcann said...

Peter -
I shall arrange that when the Editor has finished with my efforts - probably won't come out as I wanted as she is an American and you know how they love to revise things - I will probably end up as Scots - American fighting alongside John Wayne in the Pacific and being
"Beamed up Scotty".
I had previously suggested to her that it might be a good thing to have short paragraphs of the citations of the 16 V.C. winners in WW2 including the three in Italy. Depending on space - she will do that as a lesson to the youngsters of to-day.
I am about to start work on re-vamping that idiotic bent pin which pierces the Red Poppy - and pierces everything else, especially when the Legion Ladies get enthusiastic !

Thursday, 02 November, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have a listen to the Remembrance podcast on iTunes or on the Royal British Legion blog. It's a good way to remember.

Friday, 10 November, 2006  
Blogger Frank Mee said...

I think this should be on our other blog as it is a gripe.
I have been very irate about several things this last couple of weeks.
The white poppy brigade lifted their heads above the parapet again, they claim the red poppy is at odds with the christian message as it represents violent sacrifice??
A vicar in north London has cancelled the remembrance service as it is not multi cultural enough?? What on earth does that mean?
Jon Snow refuses to wear the red poppy because it represents poppy fascism?? what the hell is that. Then to crown it all a rail firm manager told his staff not to wear poppy's as it contravened the uniform rules of the company.
Is it me that is losing the plot I ask until you read, "The meorials of war such as the Cenotaph are Propaganda in stone that Glorify militarism" I am going mad!
All those little memorials in stone like the cross at the bottom of Norton High Street paid for by local subsciption as memorials to the very young men who died in the first and second world wars, the one in Stockton Parish Church and in all the towns and villages around, which will all see people standing there remembering long lost relatives, a last post sounded by a Scout or Cadet do not to my mind glorify militarism but remind us wars have a high price. That price is the flower of our young people who willingly fight for the freedoms we now have. One of those freedoms is to be free of major world conflicts although we are in the middle of several small wars which still demand the price of young peoples blood.
In the words of President Hoover;- "We do not seek to glorify war or to perpetuate hatreds. We are commemorating, not war but the courage devotion and sacrifice of those who gave their lives for their fellows and their country".
Remembrance Sunday reminds us of the price of war and of those people who died so we did not lose the freedoms we cherish.

Saturday, 11 November, 2006  
Blogger Tomcann said...

Couldn't agree more Frank - gripe or not - it has to be said the PC mob are trying it on over here as well - althought the big box stores are re-considering their attitudes to both the Remberance day and Christmas day as they were all boy cotted last year and their bottom lines took a real beating - so now they are " re-condiderating"
The white poppy crowd were in dis-array after the chief of the Poopy canpaign remionded them that their actions in selling thw white poopy is illegal here in Canada so they had better watch it.
Facts are facts though - only 18% of the young 19-24 group attend servies and this rises to only 55% of the over 55 group.
There is a growing campaign to return to history lessons in schools - which is way overdue as a poll has found that a majority of youngsters claim the Gen. Douglas MacArthur was a famous Canadian hero - Just about sums it all up as I have no doubt that Patton has his place also in Canadian folk lore for the amount of times George C. Scott plays him on TV.! He was at it again last night along with that other hero John Wayne and his green berets !

Saturday, 11 November, 2006  

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