Why I no longer wear a poppy
I will not wear a poppy. And as I make this decision, I see my late father, a veteran of two wars, and my late mother, also a veteran, nodding their approval.
Ever since childhood, I have commemorated the day of remembrance. I watched my father on parade, accompanied my mother to lay a wreath and faithfully, wore a poppy. No longer.
You see, my mother was a veteran, but never marched off to war. She, like millions of women, paid the ultimate sacrifice at home. She lost a fiancé in the Second World War, left art school to work on a pig farm and raise meat for the troops, joined her own mother in terror as bombs laid waste to London and walked with her father as he patrolled the neighbourhood on blackout watch.
But my mother, and others like her, is not remembered, or not nearly enough. The newspapers are full of pictures of soldiers, the hopeful faces of young men, sagging boots next to helmets, rows of poppies and stories of trench warfare. But where is my mother and her legacy? War is not just about men. There has always been a glass ceiling inherent in our grim Remembrance Day rituals. Until that is shattered, I will no longer wear a poppy. Alison Griffiths, Burlington