Monday, 26 January 2015

Poppy

I wanted to share with you my poppy.  It arrived last week from the installation at The Tower of London last year that was made to commemorate the start of The Great War - also called The First World War.


No doubt you will have seen lots of blog posts about this last year and other news articles too.  You can read more about it here.


I don't know where I am going to display or keep my poppy.  In fact, I am not sure that I want to display it as it doesn't seem appropriate somehow.  I will live with it for a little bit and then make a decision.  Perhaps I will keep it safely stored away and only put it out in the two weeks or so before Armistice Day each year.


This is a very sad piece of history to own, but a momentous one as well.


The funds raised from the sale of these poppies have been distributed between various military charities that support members of and families of service men and women.




After Armistice Day last year I had a comment from someone who was very emotional about my post on that day.  I did respond to the comment at the time, but I have been waiting for the arrival of the poppy to write to you all a little about my feelings about Armistice Day.  It seemed an appropriate way to share, at a time of year that was perhaps less emotional for us all.

There is a long history of military service in my family that has continued throughout the last century.  Members of my family and spouses have served in different branches of the military, at home and abroad, in the English services and for other countries as well.  My family has served in both The Great War, World War Two and more recent conflicts such as the Iraq War. 

I don't think that any of these wars are a good thing.  Far from it in fact.  However, I do think that it is incredibly important to remember those who have served their countries in the past and who continue to serve now.  Remembrance isn't glorification, it is just what it says, remembering.  If we do not remember the past we are doomed to repeat it as the saying goes.

I remember in many ways, all the time.  Not just on Armistice Day.  However, on that special day when people the world over take a minute out of their day to stand in silence, as I do, it seems only appropriate to remember on my blog as well.  A few simple words, a photograph or a poem is, to me, the right way to mark that moment.

Just as it is your right to be offended by that, it is my right to leave that mark.  I support your right to be offended, and hope that you will support my right to say what I feel.

That is, after all, what a lot of wars are fought for.  Freedom of speech, thought and deed.

Amy

41 comments:

  1. To me, Poppies symbolise every one who has ever fought in a war or lost their life in war, and in that way they are a powerful symbol to help each of us stop and remember. It's a lovely thing to have and a lovely thought to bring it out for armistice day each year xx

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  2. Well written and thoughtful words Amy - as always. My poppy arrived just before Christmas and I have been struggling with how it should displayed. I somehow didn't want it to be too pretty, if that makes sense. My brother-in-law found these stands which I think will fit perfectly - for me anyway. http://poppystands.myshopify.com
    Just thought I'd include the link in case you or anyone else finds it useful. x

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  3. I remember seeing pictures of the poppies at the tower of London and thinking it was so sad, but so beautiful and and great way to honor those who fought in that war. I didn't know people could buy the poppies, but I think that's a great idea too, and a good way to raise money for those causes. Thank you so much for sharing this.

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  4. "Those who don't know history are destined to repeat it."Edmund Burke (1729-1797). My view is - How can it not be the right thing to do, to remember those who lost their lives because of war? I fully support your right to do this Amy, as well as respecting the opinions of those who may be offended. Beautiful poppy, you have a little piece of history there. xx

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  5. I'm glad you've got one, we need to be reminded of the horrors of war! Suzy xo

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  6. What a wonderful installation it was, one that those who visited will always remember. Treasure your poppy.

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  7. A beautiful poppy and a part of history in its own right. Both my husband and I are ex military and both come from a long line of those that have served, that is what we served for to give people the right to freedom of speech, let those who want to remember do so in peace, whilst respecting those who do not. A lovely post.

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  8. I agree that the only way we can honour the fact that these people gave their lives for their country is by remembering them in some fashion. That's the biggest sacrifice you can make, and I'm sure they would want to be remembered. I didn't know you could purchase the poppies, but I think it's a very interesting piece of history. Wendy x

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  9. The installation at the Tower of London was such a moving and poignant tribute to all those who lost their lives in the Great War. I think its magnitude brought home to so many people just how many lives were lost. You have a little piece of history in your poppy and so much good will be done with the funds they've raised.

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  10. What a great post Amy, I wish I had known that you could buy a poppy, as I would of done so, Thank you for sharing your one with us allxx

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  11. I did go to try and buy one but they had run out. Nice to see you got one. Must admit I was not sure what I would have done with it either

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  12. Oh, that's a wonderful piece of history for you to have; I thought it was a very moving display and I didn't get to see it in real life. I think it's OK for you to have it and not display it all the time if you don't want to - it's something to pass on in the future with a story behind it so that future generations never forget xx

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  13. Amy, I for sure support your right to express your thoughts on this, and you did a great job. I love the red and the poppies.

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  14. The poppy is lovely and a great reminder of the sacrifices made by so many during the last centuries wars and on into this century. I think it would be nice to display it especially around Remembrance Day but perhaps it could be in a special spot in a glass cabinet too. It's a very special memento though and to be kept safe.

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  15. i want to see these events in person ... i love the poppy ... & feel they are just gorgeous!! so pretty. i do wonder why Americans don't use the poppy in more things? i am sure there is a reason but i don't why??! ( :

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  16. Your poppy is beautiful. I would leave it out all the time. To me the poppy reminds us of each person that served and sacrificed, but even more important ---- that one person matters ---- then and now.

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  17. I'm sure where ever you decide to keep it, it will be the right choice for you.

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  18. The poppies are lovely my friend received hers at Christmas and like you will display it on Rembrance Sunday. It certainly was a thought provoking project and attracted millions of people which was no bad thing.

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  19. The poppies are lovely aren't they - my friend received hers at Christmas - it was a wonderful project and such an inspiration.

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  20. Well said. The poppy is lovely, I wish we had bought one. We saw the display when we were in London and it was very moving. My husband served in the Army for 21 years. He was named for an Uncle who was killed in WWII shortly before her was born.
    We support several military charities and we never forget the sacrifices made.

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  21. Thanks for writing this. It's interesting to see the box it was delivered in. I was one of the volunteers who pulled up the poppies. Sadly they sold out very early and I was too late to buy one. But it was an honour to handle them and help them on their way.

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  22. What a wonderful way to remember.We have the 100th Anzac day coming up and there are big plans for that. I will definite post something special for that as many on my family didn't make it at Gallipoli. My Grandfathers 7 brothers and My Grandmothers 3 brothers. It would have been a waste if we didn't remember.

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  23. Just love this Amy! I have a brother in the military here in the states and I think remembering and acknowledging our service folks (alive and dead) is incredibly important. I think your poppy is just beautiful and a lovely symbol of amazing sacrifice. Thanks for sharing. xo

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  24. Well said. I wasn't quick enough to make a poppy ours and was disappointed but I am so happy that you got one and have shared it here, J9 x

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  25. The installation at the Tower was very moving and, once the poppies were made available, I knew I wanted a little part of it. I think my poppy will probably spend the summer months in the garden, in memory of two relatives (my mum's cousin and my dad's uncle) who both lost their lives in the Battle of the Somme, both aged 24.

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  26. Beautifully said Amy. So pleased & a little jealous you have a poppy. My neighbour has one, so I have been fortunate enough to see one close up. Very special.

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  27. It's beautiful Amy, and so very moving, as was the installation. It's a lovely idea to store it and bring it out a couple of weeks before Armistice Day I think, that way it will always stay special and won't become part of the furniture. I always find remembrance very moving, and so important. Bless you for writing about it so beautifully. CJ xx

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  28. Hi Amy,

    I think it's important to remember too. I think displaying it wouldn't be a bad thing at all and in fact showing that you care about what happened, which you obviously do.

    You have a sweet blog! I love your jar post and I'm thinking about making one myself :)

    xo


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  29. The display / installation at The Tower Of London was simply amazing. Unfortunately I was not able to go, but other family members did and were so pleased and moved by the event.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

    All the best Jan

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  30. I thought the Tower of London poppies were amazing and a beautiful tribute. How lovely to have one of the poppies!

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  31. I think this is a wonderful way to raise money for important causes that help military charities. And I like how you speak what you think and feel. That's what it's all about!!! Wishing you a lovely night.....and such a pretty poppy. Im sure you will find the perfect spot for it in your home. And thank you to your family for serving....Nicole xoxo

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  32. Oh Amy, I so agree with you about the remembrance of those who have served! As long as I live, they will be remembered!!
    I am pleased that you shared the poppy with us on your blog. Seeing the poppies at the Tower of London when we were in September was a very emotional experience for me and my husband, it surprised us, the emotion that we felt. Thanks again for sharing this. xx

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  33. Beautifully put Amy. I have no family connections to the military or any strong affiliations to any of the wars past or recent. However, I choose to remember the sacrifice made by others, the loss of the individuals and impact on their loved ones. I also defend the right of free speech, politeness in putting your point and tolerance of other's viewpoints too. I am sure you'll make just the right decision on displaying or occasionally displaying your poppy once you've lived with it a while. Its a lovely but poignant item.

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  34. I am not a fan of war myself although it seems it might be the only answer, certainly when hundreds of thousands of people are being put to death it has to be stopped. The thing I don't like is we seem to not learn from them, and the USA especially seems to get involved when it shouldn't. I love the poppy, a remarkable way to remember those who have fought for all of our freedom and lost their lives.
    Meredith

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  35. It's a beautiful piece of history. I don't know why anyone would be offended by your choice to commemorate the lives lost in a major world war, that seems very strange to me. I hope having the poppy helps you feel you've contributed to the cause in a positive way.

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  36. Well said, as always, Amy! I had no idea that the poppies were available for purchase, and I am so happy for you that you have one, part of the most amazing memorial and art installation I have even seen (even if only on film). It is a very, very special object, and I am sure you will always value and love it. Thank you for sharing it with us. xx

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  37. The poppy is really lovely and much bigger than I thought it would be. You are right about remembering. It doesn't make war right, of course, but we need to remember.

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  38. Beautifully expressed as always. Perhaps your poppy could take pride of place in your November mantel display?
    Hugs xx

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  39. Thank you for putting your point of view whilst respecting other opinions. Your poppy as a memorial is special. My Berkshire daughter's friend sent me a laminated picture of the poppies at the Tower of London. It was a very thoughtful and unexpected gift which my daughter brought up when she came to stay last month. Her friend knew how much I had wanted to go to London, but couldn't. She photographed the poppies at the Tower of London and sent those photos too. I was very touched and it took a while to decide where to put the picture as it's a very emotional subject isn't it? It's now on the wall where there are the family photos. Each one of those poppies represents a person who gave a life that we might live freely and speak freely about such matters. It's sometimes overwhelming to think of so many lives lost in times of conflict, but we must never forget. We all have different ways of doing so I'm sure.

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  40. Beautifully written Amy, especially the last part about free speech. I wish I'd been able to see the installation in person as the photos of it were stunning. x

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