Do you remember for peace?


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Is Remembrance Day too much about war and not enough about peace? Leave a comment below and tell us what you think!

Remembrance Day was first marked within the British Commonwealth (which included Canada) on November 11, 1919, at 11 a.m. to commemorate the end of the First World War upon the German signing of the Armistice and to remember those in the armed forces who gave their lives.

Back then, the majority of the people killed in wars were soldiers. Today it is civilians who pay the highest price. In the first six months of 2013, there was a 23% increase in civilian casualties in Afghanistan – 1,319 civilians died and 2,533 were wounded from January to June this year (CBS News, 31 July 2013

But in many Remembrance Day ceremonies, and especially in Ottawa, the focus is on commemorating wars, rather than trying to prevent war itself.

A survey completed in 2012 by Abacus Data showed that young people between the ages of 18 and 30 are becoming increasingly disengaged from Remembrance Day ceremonies. 47% of respondents said they were not planning on attending any ceremonies on November 11 or commemorating the day.

Yet a majority of young people said that “the reminder of the need for peace” was the most important reason for Remembrance Day, after honouring veterans and those Canadians who have lost their lives serving in wars. One in four said it was the most important reason of all.

The youth want to see more of a peace message in Remembrance Day.

And they’re doing something about it.

Our volunteer youth have been distributing November 11 peace-themed pins in Ottawa. The pins feature a white poppy – which many of us have come to know as a powerful peace symbol on Remembrance Day – and the personal statement of “I Remember for Peace.”

They will also be speaking to media about why they want a peace message in Remembrance Day.

Do you agree? Is Remembrance Day too much about war and not enough about peace?

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293 Responses to “Do you remember for peace?”

  1. Sandra SmithNovember 14, 2013 at 1:45 am #

    I wear a red Poppy for remembrance. I remember my father who served from 1938 to 1963. My father who was a peace loving man and was against war though he served his country in the military. I remember his desire for all to live in peace, his desire for better lives for all – his comrades and their families, the civilians left at home or caught up in the war. The soldiers and civilians who fought for their own countries. He understood they were doing their best for their future. I remember his contempt but understanding for the profiteers and politicians. I remember the constant pain he lived with from damage received in Asia during the war and which finally killed him in 1987. He was a fighter for all and a lover of all. 3 months before he died he carried the flag in the Legion parade then shared a beer with his friends.

    I would be proud to wear a white poppy for peace as well as a red poppy for remembrance. I know he would proudly join me.

  2. JohnNovember 12, 2013 at 3:04 am #

    A Canadian living in Belgium, I was at the Canadian National Vimy Memorial yesterday. It was a stark and moving testament to the horrors of war. Yes, the red poppy may be misconstrued by some as glorifying war, but the most prominent quote at the visitor center quickly dispels any of those notions.
    The white poppy campaign is simply irrelevant. Those who know the true meaning of the red poppy and understand that is DOES encompass all of you who are disgusted with the horrors of war and strive for peace.
    (The quote is by a veteran of the Great War, at aged 105 in 1996)

    • VeronicaNovember 12, 2013 at 1:08 pm #

      I think the white poppy could complement the red one, if worn the rest of the year as a reminder that the past is war, the future is peace, and that it will only come if each of us practices and promotes it daily year round. My father was in the Civil Defense during World War II, after his ship (a civilian ship) was torpedoed by a German submarine and he experienced how terror paralyzed them when they were illuminated by reflectors and thought for a moment that they would die. Instead they were given biscuits and sweet water and pointed the way to row (4 days and nights) to Africa, the nearest coast. As soon as he started rowing, the fear subsided, and he realized he would have to do something upon arriving in England, or fear would paralyze him still, so he enlisted to help wounded people, remove debris, corpses, and rebuild what they could after bombings. Indeed, “never again” was their aim and feeling. Peace starts from within and gets extended to the rest of us- all of us. Give peace to have it. Let’s wear both red and white poppies in lapels and in particular in our minds, till the world stands in glorious peace. Let’s extend peace as mothers would: stop fighting children, just share the peanuts half and half. Stop throwing out food to keep prices up while others starve. Stop creating the conditions for violence through greed and inequality. Start truly living, finding what it means to be human.

      • Heather O'MearaNovember 12, 2013 at 2:09 pm #

        Well said, Veronica. I would gladly wear a white poppy beside my red one next year, and I have no difficulty explaining that it is not disrespectful of veterans. I’m ok with removing my white poppy on November 11 to prove that point.

    • Heather O'MearaNovember 12, 2013 at 2:26 pm #

      Thank you for sharing that, John. You make a very good point. I think we need to keep educating people about what the red poppy really means. However, I also think that what the white poppy speaks to that is is impossible to truly separate Remembrance Day from politics, to the point that most people who insist that we we do so, are actually scoring political points with their message. (sorry if that’s really convoluted) In my opinion, the white poppy points out that we now know that wars are often based on justifications that turn out to be lies. Vietnam and Iraq were both based on falsified evidence. A white poppy mourns the loss of life while reminding us of the uncomfortable reality that the reasons for those tragic losses are not always what they seem. I think the emotional reaction comes from the fear that our soldiers died for nothing, but this is never the case. We will always honour the good men and women who did what was right to the best of their knowledge. Because of this, I think that correct white poppy ettiquette would suggest that we remove the white poppy on November 11 and just wear the the red on that very special day.

  3. Jason CNovember 11, 2013 at 6:10 pm #

    From a soldier to a bunch of thankless, selfish, immature kids be thankful that you have freedom to be able to post on this site. If you oppose the red poppy then frankly you need to join the army and help the real men and women fight for freedom. No. Then shut your over- privileged mouths and remember that most of your grandparents or great grandparents fight in those wars.

    • Jim SinclairNovember 11, 2013 at 10:36 pm #

      That kind of contempt and judgmental attitude for Canadians coming from a Canadian soldier, tells me that you have no love for anyone but your brothers and sisters in uniform, and for combat itself. You call ungrateful, people who lament the deaths of heroic family members by wearing a different colour poppy. You call us “a bunch of thankless, selfish, immature kids” who should be thankful for the freedom that you’d rather we didn’t have, because in your opinion we don’t deserve it.

      Such talk betrays the freedom-destroying attitude of the militant fascism that our friends and family fought against in WWII. That it comes from one of our own breaks my heart and tells me that our sacred freedoms are now in great danger, as it appears we didn’t know until now that we lost WWII.

    • Heather O'MearaNovember 12, 2013 at 2:05 pm #

      Again, I wonder how much of the conflict here is that we seem to have difficulty separating the interconnected relationships between soldiers, generals, politicians, governments and citizens. A common theme I see in these comment threads is one person making assumtions about others’ motivations. Do we all want to make the world a better place where war is unnecessary? Can we have a civilized conversation about how best to do that?

  4. Heather O'MearaNovember 11, 2013 at 5:38 pm #

    I think what we have here is a failure to communicate. A distinction needs to be made here between the soldiers who gave their lives and those who sent them to their deaths. My red poppy says thanks to vets who did what was right, to the best of their knowledge. If I wear a white poppy it also says shame on the governments who lied to those good men and women and fail to keep the promise made to treat them with the dignity and respect they deserve. I saw only red poppies at the cenotaph today, and while I think that is appropriate on November 11, I wouldn’t mind seeing a white poppy beside a red poppy, as I understand that they are just two colours of the same flower. I think the most shameful thing about this whole controversy is the way Sun News used incredibly shoddy ‘journalism’ to sow dissent, stir up conflict and score cheap political points. If you fell for it, you might consider that Fantino made his inflammatory comments to deflect valid criticism of his ministry of Veterans’ Affairs horrible treatment of vets.

    • Heather O'MearaNovember 11, 2013 at 6:00 pm #

      BTW; I think the phrasing of your question “Is Remembrance Day too much about war and not enough about peace?” is part of the problem. It sets up and either/or choice – a false dichotomy. It’s fair to call out opportunistic politicians who use Remembrance Day to score points that they can use in the next election. It is not fair to suggest that remembering thousands of Canadians who died in war represents any kind of support for how or why they died. I understand how people get confused, but I think it would be wise for white poppy proponents to do a better job of communicating by being clear enough that nobody will think they are disrespectful to vets. Just sayin’

  5. Teresa PorterNovember 10, 2013 at 7:36 pm #

    They said it was “the war to end all wars”; they said “never again” I will remember them on November 11th with love and thankfulness in my heart, because I know that they fought and longed for peace, peace in our time. I too will remember for peace.

    • roiNovember 11, 2013 at 11:52 am #

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  6. BrianNovember 10, 2013 at 2:07 am #

    Claiming the Red Poppy Campaign glorifies war is like saying the Yellow Daffodil Campaign glorifies cancer

  7. Clint LaForgeNovember 9, 2013 at 11:14 pm #

    I absolutely honor the innocent men and women who fought and died in war, with the belief that they were attempting to achieve freedom and peace for all.
    However, the only winners in war are the architects and opportunists who are profiting, often from both sides; including bankers, industrialists, and political power players. We must stop playing into their game.

    Commenters who suggest that wearers of white poppies are somehow disrespectful and ‘should be shot’, are of the old eye for an eye paradigm, which is fortunately on its way out.

    Support for PEACE will mean the death of future Wars… Imagine a world where there is no fighting, no wars, no wasteful war machine. Peace and harmony are the universal natural state. The white poppy indicates a break from the old paradigm of War, violence, and force; moving toward peaceful negotiation, compromise, and co-operation throughout the world. In this world success will be measured not by economic metrics like GDP or phony Job numbers, but by standards of quality of life and Happiness quotient.

    • Jim SinclairNovember 10, 2013 at 12:53 am #

      Amen to that!

    • Barb ANovember 10, 2013 at 12:55 pm #

      [Comments removed. Commenters at this site are welcome to disagree with the postings on or with other commenters, but those who cannot be reasonably polite or who otherwise abuse the privilege of commenting here will not be tolerated.]

      • Barb ANovember 10, 2013 at 11:12 pm #

        What was impolite? Was it the suggestion you are “delusional”? Or the comments about tree hugging and smoking weed? My comments were as polite as I could muster, given the drivel that you and your ilk were spouting. #GETSOME

  8. RobertNovember 9, 2013 at 6:33 pm #

    [Comments removed. Commenters at this site are welcome to disagree with the postings on or with other commenters, but those who cannot be reasonably polite or who otherwise abuse the privilege of commenting here will not be tolerated.]

    • HeatherNovember 10, 2013 at 12:00 am #


    • Jim SinclairNovember 10, 2013 at 12:50 am #

      I think you have to remember that Canada wasn’t attacked, so the soldiers didn’t die to protect our freedoms, but to protect and defend freedom for OTHERS. Our boys felt that going to war was necessary because they thought the wars to be just causes. They went to war to achieve a hopefully lasting PEACE. They didn’t die for our country, but for other people in the name of our nation.

      It is very painful to me that the red poppy has been co-opted to glorify wars of aggression for profit. I always used to wear a red poppy, but I can’t anymore because its real meaning has been subverted. I might now be confused with the very people who disgust me…the supporters of war for profit. Believe me; it really hurts that I can no longer wear the red one.

      • rclrNovember 10, 2013 at 5:19 pm #

        Please get your facts straight. Canada was in fact attacked in WWII, by the Japanese at Estavan Point in BC, and with german subs infiltrating St. John’s harbour. There were also numerous attacks by u-boats on Canadian convoys.

        As a part of the British commonwealth, it was indeed our freedoms that were under attack in both WWI and WWII.

        The red poppy is not a glorification of war, but a remembrance of those who sacrificed during times of war in order to preserve peace and freedom. To say that those who died did not die for their country is both disrespectful and shameful.

        Want to wear a white poppy? Fine – have a day of remembrance/hope/whatever for peace. But don’t subsume this incredibly important and honourable time when we remember and thank those who protected us, our nation and our freedom.

        • Jim SinclairNovember 11, 2013 at 11:29 am #

          “To say that those who died did not die for their country is both disrespectful and shameful.”

          Whatever those who died ACTUALLY fought for is irrelevent. What is relevent is what they BELIEVED they fought and died for. I honour their sacrifice for what they believed, and firmly believe that had any of them known the true WHY of what caused the wars, there would not have been a soldier on either side that would ever have taken up the arms to fight his fellow man.

      • Barb ANovember 10, 2013 at 11:23 pm #

        Well said, rlcr. Might I direct you, Jim Sinclair, to the website below.

        • Jim SinclairNovember 11, 2013 at 11:21 am #

          This is neither the time nor place to engage in an argument about the sacrifice of “Our” boys nor of “who started it”, or were the “bad guys” of the wars. I’ll say only that NOBODY marches off to war believing they are the bad guy. EVERYONE thinks they are fighting a just and defensive war against something evil.

          I remember today, the similar sacrifice made by the “enemy” soldiers, who felt the same as we did, that they fought a just war. Their sacrifice was no less noble than ours.

          Try to remember that the poppy (of any colour) is intended not to glorify war, but to stand as an indictment of it, and to jog our memory on this eleventh hour of the eleventh day, that we finally laid down our swords and made peace, if only (unfortunately) for a little while.

  9. Ryan MathesonNovember 9, 2013 at 5:01 pm #

    [Comments removed. Commenters at this site are welcome to disagree with the postings on or with other commenters, but those who cannot be reasonably polite or who otherwise abuse the privilege of commenting here will not be tolerated.]

  10. John KruithofNovember 9, 2013 at 1:49 pm #

    I wish resources earmarked for carrying out wars were devoted to peace instead.

  11. DeanNovember 9, 2013 at 10:13 am #

    My Father was a veteran of WW II and he witnessed constant combat and warfare virtually without pause from July 1944 until November 1944. When I became an adult he told me about his journey through France, Belgium and Holland. He said war is terrible and should not be experienced by any human being. He said there was no glory in killing or being killed. He said everyone suffered, the soldiers, the children and families trapped by the fighting. The destruction of homes and people’s lives was heartbreaking. He was awarded medals and did his best to protect the lives of his fellow soldiers and civilians. He tried to respect his enemy even while they fought to the death. I will remember his sacrifice and the sacrifice of all who suffered and who continue to suffer war.

    I REMEMBER FOR PEACE. The red poppy and the white for all humanity.

    • Rob GNovember 10, 2013 at 7:33 am #

      Great words. It shows intelligence and wisdom. Thank you. (Can we all stop bidkering about the colour of poppies now?)

      • Heather O'MearaNovember 12, 2013 at 5:12 pm #

        Sadly, I think not. The intense emotional reactions have less to do with poppy colour than a basic misunderstanding of the underlying motivations of people on the “other side” of the argument. It would be helpful if we could try to find some common ground, for example the slogan ‘Never Again’ that comes from the War Amps.
        On a psychological level, is is very difficult to absorb the full ramifications of the knowledge that what may have been the ultimate cause of thousands of Americans deaths was to achieve very concrete gains in American hegemony and the protection of revenue streams for American corporations. What does it say about the people who trusted their government? That they were unwise to do so? Hindsight is 20/20, and we need to be mindful of the range of emotions that will flood minds that are processing this kind of information for, perhaps, the first time.

  12. WayneFNovember 9, 2013 at 8:39 am #

    I know how Steven Staples feels. Last Nov. I had a friend FB-unfriend me over my post over this very issue: taking the focus OFF war-mongering.

    Let’s be clear: this is not MEANT to be disrespect for veterans or anyone otherwise touched by war. On the contrary, hats off and heart goes out to you.

    There remains however a powerful faction on the planet whose goal is the perpetuation of war – because they profit by it in money and power. They love Remembrance Day (and Memorial Day, and…) as it is CURRENTLY observed, because it tends to glorify war (under a maudlin layer of crocodile tears for those who have died).

    The remedy is to focus on PEACE, not “fight” war as the current practice stands (or pretends to). So, a day to “Remember Peace” is what Nov.11 is now.

    • Barb ANovember 11, 2013 at 1:12 am #

      @Wayne. 11 November is not a day to “Remember Peace now”. Read a history book, start by googling “Armistice Day”. You don’t get to change what this day is, simply by willing it to be and hijacking its symbol, or threatening a sit-in at the National War Monument. I can assure you those ‘powerful factions’ don’t attend the Remembrance Day ceremonies that I attend, nor are any of these services a “glorification” of war. You currently enjoy the freedom to believe what you do, and to say it out loud, because brave men and women shed their blood and lost their lives protecting Canada and her allies from an oppressive, murderous regime. Don’t believe me? Look it up. Germans had U Boats in the St Lawrence! Japan bombed Pearl Harbour. Tyranny was on our doorstep! Do you enjoy the Charter of Rights and Freedoms? I’d suggest that you do, given your penchant for sharing publicly your thoughts. Furthermore, whether (and I’d disagree with you on this) this white poppy campaign is MEANT to be disrespectful to veterans, it IS disrespectful…as you and Steven Staples are no doubt aware. Yet, instead of promoting your cause any one of the other 362 days (you should probably leave Christmas and Easter alone too), which would be less divisive, you choose the ONE day of the year and the ONE symbol which would give your sect the notoriety you seek. You drank the cool aid Wayne. All you 30-something or 40-something pacifists are welcome to your beliefs, that’s the beauty of living in this country. You can’t trample mine though, so stay away from the cenotaphs, those belong to the War Dead. Take your #whitepoppy to the legislative grounds, it’s more appropriate, less hurtful. Isn’t that what pacifists are all about?

  13. IONovember 8, 2013 at 7:29 pm #

    Wishing to STOP being in collusion and complicit in maiming and killing of others by remembering PEACE is the goal. My taxpayer money is funding this despicable addiction and I wish I had the choice to STOP this abomination. I wish people had the opportunity to fully realize what is going on and how history has been corrupted to support a fallacy injurious to the whole world. Perhaps the deceived and misinformed would benefit from these facts of our less then admirable history.

    “All Wars Are Bankers’ Wars”

  14. K FNovember 8, 2013 at 3:41 pm #

    I have never truly understood why Remembrance Day is so limited in its scope. Innocent people die in every war on all sides of the conflict. They are both soldiers and civilians, old and young, men and women, good and bad, heroes and cowards, and so on. Disagreements and different ways of doing things will always exist. But violence in the name of settling these differences is what we should seek to avoid. This is known as peace and this is what should be remembered and celebrated.

  15. Phyllis CreightonNovember 8, 2013 at 3:32 pm #

    The Red Poppy I wear as a choir member in the Remembrance Day Concert at my church honours the sacrifices of veterans in wars past. Our anthems lament death and dashed hopes in wars. The wars I have seen in my long life left more problems than they set out to solve. So war leads to more war. Never forget that the weapons industry profits greatly from them and, by ever increasing production and sales, fuels them. In public I wear a white poppy that bears the word “Peace” because that is what our world desperately needs. In a world armed to the teeth, especially with the nuclear arsenals to which power-hungry nations cling (for an alleged “security” that use of nuclear weapons would annihilate), a world also threatened by the climate crisis to which gas guzzling fighter planes, destroyers, and military vehicles contribute huge quantities of greenhouse gases, we need peaceful, non-violent methods of resolving conflict. And there are many in the 21st century, negotiation, dispute resolution, conflict management, the list goes on. Let’s try peace: Peace is the Way.

  16. Wilfred OwenNovember 8, 2013 at 3:23 pm #

    Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
    Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
    Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs
    And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
    Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots
    But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
    Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
    Of tired, outstripped Five-Nines that dropped behind.
    Gas! Gas! Quick, boys! – An ecstasy of fumbling,
    Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
    But someone still was yelling out and stumbling,
    And flound’ring like a man in fire or lime . . .
    Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light,
    As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.
    In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
    He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.
    If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
    Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
    And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
    His hanging face, like a devil’s sick of sin;
    If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
    Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
    Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
    Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,
    My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
    To children ardent for some desperate glory,
    The old Lie; Dulce et Decorum est
    Pro patria mori.

  17. Onni MilneNovember 8, 2013 at 2:51 pm #

    As a child of war, I know the value of peace. There is no question that our current government fosters confrontation by all means to gain its ends. I will remember for peace because that is what humans long for and pay dearly for when war mongers steal our decision making. The term “cannon fodder” is the reality for millenia as mostly poor, uneducated men are sent to their death for a corrupt leader.

  18. SeanNovember 8, 2013 at 2:22 pm #

    The legion doesn’t charge for poppies. They accept donations.

  19. DilovelyNovember 8, 2013 at 1:14 pm #

    My grandfather (an American) parachuted into Normandy. He knew he was fighting a good fight, but he also knew it wasn’t glorious. He approved when his son decided to move to Canada to avoid killing Vietnamese people. If he were alive today, I know it would frustrate him deeply to see how far we haven’t come on this issue.

  20. Mary Lou HarleyNovember 8, 2013 at 11:20 am #

    Militarism has usurped Remembrance Day for glorification of war.
    I remember for my father who gave his youth and his health on the front lines in WWII;
    I remember for all the military and civilian men, women and children who live the horrors of war zones;
    I remember for those offering for military service today, that their lives and families be respected, that they not be put into needless danger, and that their missions be those that promote peace;
    I remember in hope for an end to the promotion of violence in our society.
    I remember for peace.

  21. jerrodNovember 8, 2013 at 1:24 am #

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    • Concerned CitizenNovember 8, 2013 at 1:14 pm #

      I Second that.

    • IONovember 8, 2013 at 7:37 pm #

      Our criminally insane governments have a job for you then. Of course, it will be voluntary and you will receive no benefits for this job when you return from your duty of killing.

    • JanetNovember 9, 2013 at 3:27 am #

      Nice to see such graphic evidence that violent impulses spring from the opponents, rather than the wearers, of white poppies!

    • DeanNovember 9, 2013 at 10:05 am #

      You have really misunderstood why our men fought and died in WW II. Your comment brings to mind the NAZI attitude. I pray for your enlightenment.

  22. Ian ClarkeNovember 8, 2013 at 12:28 am #

    The disgusting commentary left by Mr. McLean notwithstanding, Remembrance Day is utterly about peace. No one can read of war and its history without being sickened by the utter slaughter of humankind military and civilian it has entailed for millenia. I weep every Remembrance day in sorrow for the cost my father described to me in the loss of his squadron companions and the damage it did to him permanently. Weeping is the proper response to our sorrow about war and its costs, and the squandering of human life.

  23. Respect 4 VetsNovember 7, 2013 at 10:48 pm #

    The sacrifices you thumb your noses at with this malicious campaign are the only reason that organizations like yours are able to exist: because the men and women who defend our country are willing to put their lives on the line to protect democracy and freedom of expression. How dare you try to subvert an the one day a year that we set aside to honour them?

  24. Raymond CowellNovember 7, 2013 at 7:48 pm #

    In an editorial by the late Peter Worthington in the Toronto Sun, Worthington notes how we as Canadians fight for “peace,” while the Americans fight for “freedom.”
    Along with this notion, all in the name of “peace,” we Canadians are choosing to forgo many traditions, rituals and ideologies to “peacefully” be politically correct, and honor our mosaic culture. This can also be seen in the present debate of wearing a white poppy with or instead of wearing the traditional red poppy. Critics will argue that it is their RIGHT to wear which ever colour poppy they choose, and this is in fact correct, but is it right? I mean the question should be asked; just because we have acquired such freedoms, should we carry them out? Simpler still, just because we could, does it mean we really should?
    Though peace is so very important, is it of outmost importance,? I say no! Peace is a tricky word, with heavy and diverse meaning, but in the case of both World Wars, should we have gone to war, absolutely! In the cases of world tyranny, peace is sometimes not an option, no matter how much we may want it. Peace should always be sought, but not when our freedoms are at stake. As a Christian, I have always grown closer to God, not in times of peace but in times of trials. In my marriage, there have been seasons of peace, but we have bonded and grown closer in times of hardship. Though peace is important, it is not of the utmost importance. I think that our culture has been corrupted by the misuse of the term peace, and it is using it to gain leverage to change policies, practices and progress. Sometimes as people, we need to be shaken out our slumber, challenged and offended. We need to see the world for what it truly is, and sometimes we need that hard message. I think the individuals running this new white poppy campaign need to take a minute and reflect, because if they truly believe in peace, they are causing great division between them and the veterans we are to honor on November 11th, and that my friends, is not peace.
    In Worthington’s article he states: “We have become so culturally sensitive, that as Melanie Phillips says in The Spectator: ‘Certain groups of ‘victimized’ people…enjoy a sort of Protected Species status, in that they must never be offended.’ Included are ethnic minorities, single mothers, Muslims, gats, etc.’” Worthington goes on: “Today, Jesus mustn’t be mentioned in schools for fear of offending. Even ‘Merry Christmas’ has been corrupted to ‘Season’s Greetings.’ Prostitutes are no longer that, but ‘sex trade workers.’” It is this fear to offend and this abuse of freedom that is getting out of hand.
    As a Christian, the Bible teaches of something that is more important than peace, and more important than freedom, and that is LOVE. And if take a minute, and love our veterans, that is, have a discussion with them, their thoughts and feelings about Remembrance Day, what symbols, traditions and rituals THEY want for us to Remember, and they come back with the Red Poppy, then so be it. It is our veterans that are telling us that the Red Poppy is not a symbol of war, but that of sacrifice. It is based off of the anti-war poem In Flanders’s Fields. We need to remember the people, the veterans, and to love and honor what THEY did, and more importantly, what was sacrificed. Just because we ARE free doesn’t mean we should abuse such freedoms while obtaining from love.
    In one of Paul’s letters to the church in Corinth, he writes about the importance of using his new found freedom, he writes:
    “Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.
    That my friends IS LOVE! We need to sometime be humble, look at things from a different view, a different perspective, and again, understand, that though we are free to do many things, doesn’t mean we should always act on such freedoms. My misusing such freedoms, we remove power from the sacrifice behind them. It is important to always act out of love FIRST, and through such acts, we will find peace and freedom.

  25. MarcNovember 7, 2013 at 6:43 pm #

    Remembrance……to understand the ugliness of war and to denounce it as a way to create employment and boost the economy. Remembrance without a commitment to peace is disrespectful to those who have fought and lost their life, rather “empty” and self-serving.

  26. Catherine WaltherNovember 7, 2013 at 4:52 pm #

    Veterans I know are also remembering Nov. 11th with regards to never having to go through a war again. Peace is the only way to respectfully remember all those who gave of themselves for the sake of us all. If we haven’t achieved or aren’t working towards peace, what’s the point in all their suffering?

  27. Mally DeeNovember 7, 2013 at 4:13 pm #

    My family took refuge in Canada to avoid war in Europe. I am forever grateful, and cannot imagine the horrors of war that continue every day in our world.
    I wear a white poppy in the hope that someone will give a thought to spending as much effort on working for peace as in supporting war.

  28. Terence StoneNovember 7, 2013 at 4:02 pm #

    I’m a military veteran and completely understand your position on wearing the red poppy for your grandfather and others. I fought in two regional wars and we bore a number of dead. Since then I’ve slightly shifted my perspective. It wasn’t the “sacrifice” of my buddies who died. It was those who sat in high places who “sacrificed” them. What hasn’t been said much about the white poppy is its historical significance for innocent civilians who are increasingly the victims of war. So, with respect, I wear the red and white poppy together to honour the dead–military and civilian. And above all I refuse to allow the State–any State–to corrupt the dignity of those who died by turning it into spectacle that implicitly glorifies war. Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori is a gigantic lie perpetuated through millennia.

    • diane wallrichNovember 7, 2013 at 10:56 pm #

      You speak my mind exactly…thx. A famous (retired) general commented that “War is a racket!”…’fraid so.

  29. RMcleanNovember 7, 2013 at 3:28 pm #

    [Comments removed. Commenters at this site are welcome to disagree with the postings on or with other commenters, but those who cannot be reasonably polite or who otherwise abuse the privilege of commenting here will not be tolerated.]

    • JanetNovember 9, 2013 at 4:06 am #

      If you really were concerned with honouring “every soldier who sacrificed their blood” you would be thankful for the white poppy, because it symbolizes exactly what most WWII soldiers were fighting for: a future without wars. As such it honours them with the highest form of remembrance.

      • Jason CNovember 11, 2013 at 6:38 pm #

        Join the army and go overseas and when you see what country’s do to there women, Kids, animals you would change your mind

    • Jim SinclairNovember 10, 2013 at 2:26 pm #

      Maybe you should re-read “In Flanders Fields” and note that the only peace that comes from war is the peace of the grave.

      The dead in Flanders Fields cry not for vengeance in their name by the warriors that follow, but for the unflagging resolve of decent men everywhere to fight diligently against the very thing that buried them in the fields…the injustice that necessitates war.

  30. Ron ContentNovember 7, 2013 at 1:52 pm #


    It is the Soldier, not the minister
    Who has given us freedom of religion.

    It is the Soldier, not the reporter
    Who has given us freedom of the press.

    It is the Soldier, not the poet
    Who has given us freedom of speech.

    It is the Soldier, not the campus organizer
    Who has given us freedom to protest.

    It is the Soldier, not the lawyer
    Who has given us the right to a fair trial.

    It is the Soldier, not the politician
    Who has given us the right to vote.

    It is the Soldier who salutes the flag,
    Who serves beneath the flag,
    And whose coffin is draped by the flag,
    Who allows the protester to burn the flag

    • diane wallrichNovember 7, 2013 at 10:58 pm #

      No…this is the glorification of war that endlessly excuses NEW wars!

    • JanetNovember 9, 2013 at 3:45 am #

      This drivel imported from south of the border is great military propaganda, of course, and like most such propaganda is simply false. In Canada the freedoms mentioned in the “poem” are the result of many years of working class struggle for a better world. Militarism sucks billions of dollars away from potential solutions to social and environmental problems, including poverty and climate change, and toward the big corporations that profit from it. A white poppy expresses both remembrance (of all victims of warfare) and a commitment to peaceful resolutions of all international conflicts. Not possible you say? Then you are part of the problem.

    • Jim SinclairNovember 9, 2013 at 11:57 pm #

      It is the soldier without a conscience, who works for people who do not care if he lives or dies, who has:

      Taken away freedom of religion
      Taken away freedom of the press
      Taken away freedom of speech
      Taken away the freedom to protest
      Taken away the rule of law
      Taken away freedom of choice

      It is the TRUE soldier who salutes not the flag but what it should stand for
      who serves his countrymen unto death
      who lends honour to the flag that drapes his coffin
      who is happy if a protester burns the flag if it now dishonours the nation its meant to represent.

  31. Lynda HoogendoornNovember 7, 2013 at 12:23 pm #

    Thank-you to all the war vets who gave us 68 (and counting) glorious year of peace in Canada and western Europe. Now THAT is an accomplishment to celebrate.

  32. David K. GilchristNovember 7, 2013 at 11:23 am #

    Does Harper (and The darkened “SUN”) really believe that all those soldiers went to fight because they loved the battle and enjoyed the violence and mayhem? Certainly not my Dad (who was awarded the OBE), nor any of his pals! They went there to try and STOP that kind of behaviour and to build a world of PEACE! Remembrance Day is to celebrate the cessation of the war. Why in Heaven’s name do they think they called WWI “The War To End All Wars”? It didn’t prove to be so; but that was certainly the hope of all those soldiers whom we celebrate.

    • JanetNovember 9, 2013 at 3:50 am #

      Well said! And I’ve known many veterans who would support the white poppy and the impulse toward peace that it represents. We hear about the views of some veterans’ organizations, but those views don’t represent all veterans. The greatest show of respect to the memory of those who have died in wars (both soldiers and civilians) is a sincere commitment to universal peace and an opposition to armed conflict.

  33. kurtNovember 7, 2013 at 10:40 am #

    below the surface storyline about political tensions/rivalries
    the truth is that war is a deliberate planned orchestrated
    wealth redistribution event in which insiders extract public wealth
    to commit the destruction, seize land and other assets in the chaos,
    then create public debt in the reconstruction

    the great tragedy is all of the pain and death and loss
    the even greater tragedy, which ensures the continuation of war
    is that people are willing to believe the bullshit and lies
    spun out by the political leadership in fealty to their owners

    what if THEY had yet another war, and nobody came?

  34. Sara-Anne PetersonNovember 7, 2013 at 8:49 am #

    My brother Bill who served in the Second World War though he was serving to ‘end all wars.’ He was still alive when Canadian troops went into Afghanistan and he felt betrayed.

    • diane wallrichNovember 7, 2013 at 11:02 pm #

      He and all other soldiers are endlessly betrayed, by leaders with greed and power as their hidden agenda,,,he term “cannon fodder” describes this mind set toward real soldiers…no:benefits, jobs, pensions, housing family support…no, they are disposable as tissues, after use.

  35. Ruth Bradley-St-CyrNovember 7, 2013 at 8:12 am #

    I remember for peace, not for war. I wear the red poppy in support of our veterans. I also wear a battalion ring from the Huron 161st battalion to remember that World War I, now a century ago, was supposed to be the war to end all wars. One of “the boys” gave this ring to my grandmother, and she gave it to me. I will always remember her telling me about the empty desks at her school, as one young man after another went off to war and never came back. Now our government denies the horrors of war by refusing to recognize and support returning soldiers with PTSD. We all need to work for peace. It is the ultimate security.

  36. David WaltonNovember 7, 2013 at 7:35 am #

    We must work for peace because violence begets more violence.The so called war on terrorism has made the world less safe than it was before. I also agree that we must get back to being peacekeepers and not just helping the U.S. in their wars for oil.

    • diane wallrichNovember 7, 2013 at 11:02 pm #


  37. Jim CarmichaelNovember 7, 2013 at 7:09 am #

    Remembrance Day is a time to remember the horrors of war and the joy of peace. The November 11 commemoration dates back to the time that war ended, not when it began. It was a time for celebration, allowing for a return to a civilized world where the natural moral ban on killing and wounding others was restored in law.

    In Canada, we should certainly remember, with great respect, all those who were willing to give their lives for what they believed was a greater cause. We should also honor those who were forced to fight in wars they did not support. But, in the final analysis, we should remember that global war is no longer an option if we want this world to continue. There are too many weapons of mass destruction scattered around the planet to allow for any repeat of global warfare.

    Canada has a long tradition of peace-building and peace-keeping that should be remembered, respected and promoted. We should celebrate the fact that it was Canada that originated the concept of international peace-keeping forces. We should honor the decisions previous Canadian governments have made to keep us out of such horrific and wrong-headed wars as those in Vietnam and Iraq. Let’s hope that future Canadian governments will put all their energies towards finding peaceful solutions to world problems, so that new generations will never have to experience the atrocities and debilitation of war.

    • diane wallrichNovember 7, 2013 at 11:03 pm #

      Yes, but hoping is too anemic…we must demand better before voting for any candidate or party.

  38. Liessi from BCNovember 7, 2013 at 3:56 am #

    WWII was supposed to be “the war to end all wars.” Doesn’t anybody remember THAT? If we dug up 100 dead soldiers, I’ll bet every last one of them would prefer peace to war. Or maybe that’s just me.

  39. Jaci MetivierNovember 7, 2013 at 1:16 am #

    I’ve attended many Remembrance Day ceremonies, and brought my children with me so we could talk about war and how important it is to remember the horror and sorrow and pain that was experienced by soldiers and civilians alike. We need to remember especially when we live in a place where we do not have to live with bombs and snipers and bullets in our streets.
    I remember war so that I can imagine peace.

  40. Bill WallNovember 7, 2013 at 12:52 am #

    As a minister of the Church (now retired) I have conducted many Remembrance Day Services. Although it was difficult to do, I tried my best to deliver a message of peace amid the tradional symols and ceremonies that commemorate those who died and,to my mind,exalt patriotism and war above the unity of the human family and the need to “beat our swords into ploughshares and our spears into pruning hooks”. Wearing a white poppy is one way to promote, without words, a more positive focus for Remembrance Day.

  41. BobNovember 7, 2013 at 12:49 am #

    My grandfather fought in WWII, as a Major in an artillery unit. I respect the bravery of those who have spent time in a war, and I respect why they were fighting in the war. In most cases, it was because they were fighting for a better world, for a peaceful world.

    Sad that the Canadian government is pursuing more weapons of war instead of putting resources into peacekeeping. I am sorely disappointed in our government, and sad to say that I am no longer “happy” to tell other people that I am a Canadian when I travel.

    I remember for peace. That is what my grandfather would have wanted.

    • diane wallrichNovember 7, 2013 at 11:06 pm #

      Harper is totally insensitive to all human needs and concerns, even this he is a petro-state android….we need better, someone who understands what peace means and how to build it.

  42. Jim SinclairNovember 7, 2013 at 12:10 am #

    Remembrance Day is a Day of mourning for me as I remember the willing sacrifices of those who gave life and limb in “The War to End All Wars” in the faithful hope that it would be, and that Man would live in peace thereafter. Inasmuch as we’ve had nothing but war after war since that time, I dare say that the sacrifice of the soldier is NOT being in the least respected by countries which now hold alliances with rogue states and conduct wars of aggression for profit, using the “responsibility to Protect” doctrine as a hypocritical smokescreen for murder and pillaging on a grand scale. Sad to say, Canada has become one of the countries that has so little respect for the sacrifice of the soldier that it almost turns my stomach to acknowledge that I’m a Canadian! I can only say that I am NOT part of THAT Canada! I live and work for PEACE because unlike the de facto Government of Canada and it’s warmongers who have absolutley no respect for the soldiers’lives they spend to willingly for PROFIT, I RESPECT the soldier and HONOUR his sacrifice by striving for a more peaceful world.

    MY vision of and for Canada may be likened more to the vision of Lester Pearson. My vision is of a great and proud nation of peaceful and caring people actively waging PEACE as fiercely as we have ever waged war. And to spite the devious and evil warmongering machinations of the likes of Harper and his lackey ministers, I have absolutely no doubt that My vision for Canada will prevail over Harper’s, for I have learned to wage peace far more fiercely than Harper and his crew could ever hope to wage war!

    ALWAYS REMEMBER…The soldier made the ultimate sacrifice for PEACE, NOT for war!

    MY poppy will be WHITE this year and every year!

    • RobertNovember 9, 2013 at 6:35 pm #

      [Comments removed. Commenters at this site are welcome to disagree with the postings on or with other commenters, but those who cannot be reasonably polite or who otherwise abuse the privilege of commenting here will not be tolerated.]

      • Jim SinclairNovember 9, 2013 at 11:25 pm #

        Have we become such a nation of bloodthirsty animals that the warrior for peace is to be exiled? I could forgive the remark you made in such ignorance if it was the flippant off the cuff response of a child that I suspect it to be. What I cannot forgive is that your attitude would vote to have more wars and more bloodshed because you glory in the violence, death and mayhem with no true understanding of the horrors of war, nor of the soldier’s noble sacrifice for peace. It is my most fervent hope that you will never have to endure the hell of your forefathers before you see the error of your ways.

        It pains me no end to have to wear a white poppy, because the true symbolism of the red is to represent the blood spilled for peace, but because that symbol has been co-opted by profiteering monsters to glorify that which it properly condemns, I am left with no choice but to wear white, lest I be counted among my enemies as one of them.

      • JanetNovember 10, 2013 at 4:22 am #

        Tell me, Robert, how you would feel if someone suggested that you should be kicked out of Canada for being intolerant of the views and actions of others?

  43. GertrudNovember 6, 2013 at 11:11 pm #

    My father was called to be a soldier in WWI for the Russian army just shortly after he turned 18 in 1914 —– he willingly became a soldier again to help free his homeland – the Baltic States, now Latvia and Estonia, from the Red Army —– and then in 1939 he was once again called to be a soldier in the German army, after he and his family arrived back in the Reich following the pact between Stalin and Hitler! He spoke little of his experiences during those years, mainly of the deprivations of soldiers and civies alike. I remember WWII and its aftermath, although I was only a small child. YES, I REMEMBER for PEACE, daily, for WAR IS HELL for soldier and civie alike and NO, I do not sport a poppy! But I will do all I can to remind people that PEACE and human dignity can be achieved!

  44. R. Don PeelNovember 6, 2013 at 10:46 pm #

    Being a student in a Peace Education program (Masters) for the last 4 years i have developed an understanding that Canada had great potential to become a world leader in “peace building” until our role as a “peace keeper” was replaced with a militaristic agenda. “Remembering for Peace” echoes the sentiments of global community after WW1 who reacted to the destruction of war by declaring WWI as “the war to end all wars”. National security can be achieved in a civilized manner, starting with diverting all the money spent on weaponry development into “education” (education that stimulates a passion for learning).

  45. Ingmar LeeNovember 6, 2013 at 10:36 pm #

    Remembrance Day in Canada has turned into a farcical militarists nostalgia fest that insults all those who are coerced, tricked or forced to slaughter and be slaughtered in wars. There is nothing in the official Canadian Remembrance Day Agenda that seeks to understand what it is that propels humanity into all-encompassing spirals of horrific violence, or seeks to learn to overcome such abysmal behaviour and practice a higher standard of human being. There isn’t even slightest hint of Peace in Canada’s “Red Poppy” Remembrance Day celebrations. And now after all that maiming, raping and slaughtering, we’re stuck with Stephen Harper…

  46. ElspethNovember 6, 2013 at 10:28 pm #

    People should know that war is not like in the movies. It is truly horrific. Peace is always something we must work for.
    From the War Amps site:
    Home > What We Do > Military Heritage Series

    “The War Amps believes that is has a responsibility to pay tribute to those who served, and to warn younger generations about the true horrors of war. Who better to recount the battles as they really happened than veterans who experienced war firsthand? The documentaries, music videos, and memoirs in the Military Heritage Series bring to life the experiences of the Canadian volunteers who served, and honour those who gave their lives. This is all part of Operation Legacy, The War Amps commitment to preserve Canada’s military heritage.”

    War Amps has a ‘never again’ message:
    “…theme fits exactly with The War Amps NEVER AGAIN! message.”


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