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On Sunday the 11th of November 2018 at 11am the country will fall silent to remember those who fought for our country. This year Armistice Day and Remembrance Day fall on the same day, sometimes the day is also known more informally as Poppy Day. Each year veterans participate in the Cenotaph March Past at the Parade in Whitehall.
The red poppy has become the symbol for Remembrance Sunday with poppy wreaths being laid at cenotaphs all over the country to commemorate Britain’s war dead. In more recent years there has been an increased appearance of the white poppy, a pacifist symbol of remembrance.
White poppies, according to the Peace Pledge Union (PPU) represent remembrance for all victims of war, commitment to peace and a challenge to the glamorisation of conflict.
The white poppy was produced in 1933 by the Women’s Co-operative Guild to symbolise ‘no more war’ and represents all victims of all wars. The red poppy appeal is organised by the Royal British Legion (RBL) and specifically represents remembrance associated with the British Armed Forces.
There has been a long standing opposition to the white poppy, with critics suggesting that it undermines the message of remembrance around Armistice Day. However, St John’s Ambulance has changed its dress code policy to allow volunteers to wear the white poppy as an alternative.
During the war when the soil was churned up by endless fighting, poppies still managed to flourish leading the red poppy to become a symbol of remembrance of the First World War. The poppy is also seen as a symbol to honour the millions of current servicemen and women who fight in our Armed Forces.
Charities such as Blesma The Limbless Veterans also provide support to amputees from the Armed Forces. They currently help 1873 amputees who lost limbs in the line of duty.
Every year a member of Wyedean attends the local service in Haworth to lay a wreath to honour those who have fallen. Which service will you be attending this year? Will you hold a two minutes silence at 11am? Listen out on Sunday for the half muffled church bells.
To make a donation to the Poppy Appeal visit the British Legion website here: http://www.britishlegion.org.uk/