Why We Wear a Poppy on Remembrance Day

"Please wear a Poppy," the Lady said, and held one forth, but I shook my head.

Then I stopped and watched as she offered them there and her face was old and lined with care, but beneath the scars the years had made there remained a smile that refused to fade.

A boy came whistling down the street, bouncing along on carefree feet. His smile was full of joy and fun, "Lady" said he, "Can I have one." When she pinned it on he turned to say, "Why do we wear a Poppy today?"

The Lady smiled in her wistful way and answered, "This is Remembrance Day, and the Poppy there is a symbol for the gallant people who died in the war. and because they died, you and I are free. That's why we wear a Poppy you see.

I had a boy about your size, with golden hair and big blue eyes. He loved to play and jump and shout, free as a bird he would prance about. As the years went by he learned and grew and became a man, as you will too. He was fine and strong with a boyish smile but he seemed with us such a little while.

The war broke out and he went away, I still remember his face that day when he smiled at me and said 'goodbye', I'll be back soon Mum, so please don't cry. But the war went on and I had to stay, and all I could do was wait and pray. His letters told of the awful fight (I can see it still in my dreams at night) with tanks and guns and cruel barbed wire and mines and bullets, the bombs and fire till at last, at last, the war was won, and that's why we wear a Poppy, my son."

The small boy turned as if to go, then said, "Thanks I'm glad I know. That sure did sound like an awful fight, but your son, did he come all right?" A tear rolled down each faded cheek, she shook her head, but didn't speak.

I slunk away in a sort of shame, and if you were me you'd have done the same for your thanks, in giving, is oft delayed, tho' our freedom was bought and thousands paid. And so when you see a Poppy worn, Let us reflect on burdens borne, by those who gave their very all, when asked to answer their country's call.