Sunday, November 09, 2003

They died to protect your freedom to completely miss the point

The Friday issue of Metro contained the following letter:

Wear poppies as a tribute to war veterans

Remembrance Day is quickly approaching and I am shocked at the number of people who still aren't wearing poppies. Going poppyless should be declared illegal.

I commute to downtown Toronto each morning and each trip frustrates me even more. I see men and women, young and old, pass by war veterans who are selling poppies in subway stations. People brisk by without even the slightest acknowledgement of what these veterans did for our country.

It's a daunting and upsetting thought.

These soldiers put their lives on hold to protect our way of life. Wearing a poppy is the least we can do to remember this fact.

Is it really too much to ask to spend a couple of bucks to buy a poppy?

These soldiers are the reason we live freely in this wonderful country today.

Lest we forget.

Chris Hogg, Scarborough

Aside from the fact that some of those people probably have bought poppies that promptly slipped out of their lapels and got lost (why can't these things be made with safety pins?), I can't disagree with this letter too much. Well, there's the sentence where he cites the soldiers as having "put their lives on hold" to fight the bloody, horrible, exceedingly inconvenient wars of the 20th century, but neglects to mention how some of them died too, which is the part I'd have tried to play up if I'd been writing the letter. But I'm more concerned about the one sentence that completely undermines the writer's entire point: "Going poppyless should be declared illegal."

I shouldn't have to point out the irony in making such a statement, considering how many of these brave soldiers fought and died during the Second World War to bring down a repressive regime that, among many other terrible abuses, made it a crime for some people to go about without certain little insignia on their lapels. You know, like yellow stars and pink triangles. So, enacting similar laws would hardly be an appropriate way to celebrate the freedom their sacrifice brought us.

Lest we forget.


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