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Peace Pledge Union

Peace Pledge Union

White poppies for peace

You’ll have seen many red poppies around, as we approach Remembrance Day but white poppies are also available. They represent remembrance for all victims of war, military and civilian, a commitment to peace and a challenge to attempts to glamorise or celebrate war. HOT’s Zelly Restorick writes.

Proueced by the Peace Pledge Union the white poppy was created by the women – the mothers, daughters, sisters, wives and sweethearts – who had lost menfolk in the first world war, ‘the war to end all wars’. Its first appearance was on Armistice Day 1933.

Hundreds of wars and more than 200 million deaths later, the white poppy is a symbol of peace, of our ongoing inability to settle conflicts without resorting to violence, and of hope for a future where we humans, who call ourselves ‘civilised’, will resolve our differences with just, non-violent means.

It is naive to think that the repercussions of war end with a declaration of ‘peace’. The reverberations echo on and on and on throughout the generations, affecting everyone directly and indirectly.

“In wearing white poppies,” writes the Peace Pledge Union “we remember all those killed in war, all those wounded in body or mind, the millions who have been made sick or homeless by war and the families and communities torn apart. We also remember those killed or imprisoned for refusing to fight or resisting war.

“We differ from the Royal British Legion, who produce red poppies. The Legion says that red poppies are to remember only British armed forces and those who fought alongside them.

“We want to remember British military dead, but they are not the only victims of war. We also remember the many civilians who have died or suffered in war, both those from the past and those in the midst of war today, in Syria and Yemen and many other violent conflicts around the world. Suffering does not stop at national borders, and nor should remembrance.

“White poppies symbolise the conviction that there are better ways to resolve conflict than through the use of violence. They embody values that reject killing fellow human beings for whatever reason. Nearly 100 years after the end of the “war to end all wars” we still have a long way to go to put an end to a social institution that even in the last decade has contributed to the killing of millions.”

Hastings Against War have a wreath of white poppies in memory of all victims of all wars to place at the War Memorial in Alexandra Park Hastings on Saturday 10 November at 2pm.

White poppies are now available for a donation at Book Buster, an independent bookstore based at 39 Queens Rd, Hastings, TN34 1RE. Tel: 01424-539726. Opening hours Mon 9.30 to 4.30pm. Tue to Sat 9.30 to 5.30pm. Open some Sundays 12 to 4pm.

For more info: Peace Pledge Union

Posted 16:51 Monday, Oct 29, 2018 In: Campaigns

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