Re­spect needed for white pop­pies

Western Daily Press - - Opinion -

ON Sun­day, Bath Quak­ers will again be taking part in the cer­e­mony at the Bath War Me­mo­rial. With the re­spect­ful ac­knowl­edge­ment of the Bri­tish Le­gion, we have laid a white poppy wreath for the last two years. Each time, the wreath has been re­moved in the days af­ter the event.

We are hurt by this ac­tion and would like to take the op­por­tu­nity to ex­plain the ori­gins and pur­pose of the white poppy. It was launched in 1933, a few years af­ter the red poppy, by the Co-op­er­a­tive Women’s Guild. Th­ese were wives, daugh­ters, sis­ters and cousins of sol­diers killed and wounded, who were chal­leng­ing so­ci­ety to pre­vent this kind of catas­tro­phe hap­pen­ing again. They were seek­ing to find other ways to re­solve con­flict and an end to all war. Pro­ceeds from the sale of white pop­pies fund peace ed­u­ca­tion work.

Our white poppy wreath is laid out of re­spect for all peo­ple killed, maimed, wounded and trau­ma­tised by war, civil­ians and mil­i­tary per­son­nel from all sides in­volved in con­flict.

Many peo­ple wear both the white and red poppy. This year Bath Quak­ers will be lay­ing two at­tached wreaths, one white and one red, to con­vey the com­plex­ity of this is­sue.

It demon­strates our re­spect for the event and all par­tic­i­pants, and our com­pas­sion for fallen mil­i­tary per­son­nel and their fam­i­lies. At the same time it con­firms our remembrance of all vic­tims of war and our de­ter­mi­na­tion to work for the peace­ful res­o­lu­tion of all con­flicts.

We hope this year our wreath will be re­spected and left where laid. Jane Stephen­son and Lin Pat­ter­son Bath Meet­ing House

York Street

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