Scandalous PEI Poppy Campaign, An Insult to the Fallen
A group, calling themselves the Island Peace Committee in <?XML:NAMESPACE PREFIX = ST1 />PEI, are selling white Poppies, as a protest against war. They claim they stand for non-violent solutions to world conflicts. This is a disgrace, and further evidence that education has been cut too much and political correct teaching swung too far. The red poppies are not a pro war symbol, they are a reminder that young men and boys, from around the world, gave their lives in hope of establishing a lasting peace. This white poppy campaign is a slap in their faces, an entire generation butchered, maimed, slaughtered and damned, so that we could have the peace and freedom we enjoy today, and that any would take the stance of this Peace Committee, and malign that memory, is proof that the education system in this country has failed. If they comprehended the meaning of the poppy campaign, if they had an understanding of the sacrifices made on their behalf, they would cease this activity. The poppies are a reminder of the horrors of war, in hopes that by remembering, we will not find ourselves in the same situation again. Anyone who has read a book on Passchendaele or the Somme with understands that glory was not the defining factor in those blood-soaked killing fields. The horror of war, and the bravery of those who fell to keep that horror away from those at home, that is why we remember. Respecting the dead is not a matter of glorifying the way they died, and if you could speak to them now, that would not be their stance. Do not cheapen their sacrifice to further your own political aims. Peace is truly a noble ideal, but to deny that in some instances peaceful resolution is not possible is to deny reason. Hug a suicide bomber, and tell them you understand, then come back and tell me that love is the answer. Winston Churchill equated appeasement to feeding the crocodile in hopes that it eats you last. Was he wrong? Did Hitler cease to invade neighbouring states, simply because the League of Nations said, “okay, you can have Czechoslovakia, but please stop there”? In some instances, taking a firm stand is the only solution. It should be a last resort, but it must be used when that is the only way to stop more bloodshed. Was Napoleon willing to sit down, and settle things over a cup of tea? Or was Elizabeth I willing to call off her privateers pillaging Spanish shipping, because they asked her to? There have always been people or groups who will chose violence as their first option when dealing with a conflict, and that is not likely to change in the immediate future. When facing such groups, it is necessary to be able to deal with their violence, by having a standing army, people willing to confront that horror so you can stay at home, drinking your extra-hot, no foam, two pump, non-fat lattes and shaking your head at the inhumanity of it all. Do not besmirch the memory of those who have fallen protecting you, because you yourself are not willing to do it. The poppy campaign is not about giving an impression of the glory of war. The donations taken go to support veterans, and their families. To support the families of those who fell keeping us here in Canada safe from foreign aggressors. Had no one stood up to Hitler’s aggressive forces of darkness, is their any doubt that he would have continued? Any hint that, defeating Russia and the United Kingdom, he would have been content to stop? The murder of Jews, Blacks, gays, socialists, the handy-capped, were those acts at all justified? No, they were not. Was there a way to stop him other than through force of arms? Again, no; bloodshed was needed to prevent greater atrocities from continuing. The poppy campaign is a charity fundraiser for the Legion, so that they may take care of those who gave so much for our freedom. By undermining the campaign you are taking money out of the hands of those in need, to whom we all owe a debt of gratitude. German U-Boats were present in the St Lawrence River. Japanese troops were present in islands of the coast of British Columbia. Why were they there? To talk about a peaceful solution to the conflict? And yet, these recorded facts are ignored by educators in this day and age, preferring to focus only on the atrocities committed; internments, confiscation of property, discrimination. These were very real, and horrible parts of our heritage. So too were the threats of Japanese and German invasion and attack. Yes War is horrible. But to pick and chose which aspects of it we will acknowledge, to further our own biases against it, is foolish. It furthers our ignorance; it does not improve our society. Showing the world that we are both ignorant and weak is not the way to bring about peace. Qui desiderat pacem praeparet bellum, let him who desires peace prepare for war, Flavius Vegitius Renatus said it 17 centuries ago, and it is as true today as it was then. Do not degrade the memory of those who died for you freedom by using it to besmirch their memory. If you have no interest in serving your country, do not do so, you have that right. But give thanks, none the less, to those who gave everything so that you could have that right. The White Poppy campaign is a disgrace to the memory of those who gave their lives, so that we could enjoy ours in peace and liberty. Those who claim that it is in support of peace, and is justified are ignorant of the true significance of the acts taken on their behalf. All those young men who died in the First World War did so, hoping that you and yours would not have to go through that. The men and women who served in the Second World War put their lives on the line, so that you and yours could like in peace and security, no matter your race, gender, sexual orientation or social class. Those who fought in the Korean War and the many Peace-keeping operations also hoped to ensure peace and freedom from oppression. If Hitler, or the Kaiser, or Stalin, or any other of the dictators whose armies those men and women were fighting against, had succeeded, would you have the freedom to run this campaign? So instead of marring their memory, and taking food out of the mouths of those who need it, and are supported by the [real] Poppy campaign, stop, and give thanks to those who gave all. Without them, you would not be here today.
"At the going down of the sun, and in the morning we will remember them"
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Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada