Hayley is a Ghost

Leave other people alone.

Posted on: November 11, 2011

water colour painting of a poppy Since I was a child I have visited the small town of Ypres in Belgium numerous times, and while there I have gone on to visit the numerous war memorials and burial sites where there are hundreds and hundreds of white crosses marking the burial place of soldiers killed in WW1 – allies and non-allies (whose grave markers are actually black squares laying on the floor). Then there is the Menin gate in the town centre itself that is covered with the names of those who are missing in action from WW1.

The poppy worn for remembrance has its origins in the poem ‘In Flanders Fields’ that was written by Lieutenant Colonel Colin McRae. I’ve visited the place McRae is said to have written the poem. It’s a very somber place. There are poppies everywhere.

This year I am not wearing a poppy on remembrance day. I haven’t got one because I haven’t been anywhere that has sold them.

It doesn’t mean I wont remember the people who have died in conflict – both troops and civilians, family and strangers…

A poppy is a symbol. A two minute silence is a symbolic action. You don’t need a poppy to remember and you don’t need a two minute silence to remember.

Shockingly to some, you don’t even need to remember. It is completely your choice and you shouldn’t have to face questions from people about why you’re not wearing a poppy or being silent.

If you’re one of those people who has stopped someone in the street or has questioned why someone isn’t wearing a poppy (which has happened to me twice), ask yourself why it is any of your business what another person chooses to do, and then walk away.

Perhaps if you are one those people who has posted on Facebook ‘you can either stand behind our troops or stand in front of them’ you can ask yourself what you are actually saying. We should agree with your view on war or be prepared to die?

If you really stand by that sentiment, you are a pretty horrifying person.

I’m afraid to break it to you, life isn’t that simple.  Actions and words and feelings and opinions are very complicated.

Some people will wear a poppy, some people wont wear a poppy. It’s not problem. Some will remember with or without a poppy and some wont take the minutes to remember at all. It’s their choice and not yours. It’s called ‘freedom of expression’ and it’s a basic human right.

Deal with it.

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5 Responses to "Leave other people alone."

You’re right – life isn’t that simple. I support our armed forces in a defensive role but not in one that is offensive, lapdogging the US and unnecessary. It’s why I don’t give to Help For Heroes and don’t buy a poppy any more. If I could guarantee that my £ would reach veterans from the Falklands War and WWII then I would reconsider. The irony is that given my interest in history and human rights I probably think more about (and of) the dead than those people who are giving dirty looks to the non-poppied amongst us.

I agree that no one should be required to either act in certain way, or explain why they are not conforming to the norm. I will wear a poppy, the reasons for this are dull and reasonably predictable.

But I feel that it needs to be remembered that the money the ‘Poppy Appeal’ raises is for the support of the men and women who serve or have served and their dependants. They are not responsible for where they are sent and for what reason. In fact, a functioning armed force cannot allow its members to select when and where they server.

So I will stand up for anyone’s right to say what they feel about any cause, but if the issues that support your decisions are political, then perhaps a better response would be to make a political point to politicians and not make a political point to veterans.

By not wearing a poppy people aren’t necessarily trying to make a political point, as I raised in my blog post it could be that they don’t want to or that they simply haven’t had the chance to buy one.

Yet again i agree with you, it’s not my right to know why anyone doesn’t have a poppy on. My comment about politics was a comment on Trystan’s wish to select who would receive any donation he may make.

I read this as his dislike for causes that the armed forces are fighting for, I whole heartedly believe in his right to his opinion, but it is my opinion that this is a political view that would have a better impact on the politicians who make these decisions.

He is still entitle to do as he wishes without having to justify himself, but as he has made his feelings known I feel I can comment on them.

The people saying “you *must* wear a poppy” should look up the following words in the dictionary: “fascism” and “irony”.

I’ve not been wearing one at all this year; luckily, though, nobody has questioned me about it. I am most definitely in favour of remembering the war dead; but I am certainly not in favour of the current assumption that everyone in the military is automatically heroic, or that everything our military does should automatically be supported. Moreover, the insistance that we should help former military, whether by donating to the British Legion, to Help For Heroes, or to any similar organisations, is a bad thing: it puts the onus on ordinary people to provide it, when it should be the state’s responsibility to take care of its own messes.

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Hayley is a ghost

Hayley Stevens is an advocate for science-based research into seemingly paranormal experiences and occurrences. With a background in the pseudo-scientific research into ghosts, Hayley offers a unique insight into the strange world of ghost hunting through her experience.

She describes herself as 'a ghost hunter who doesn't hunt for ghosts' and this is her personal blog where she writes about ghosts, people, and other interesting things. Read more here.

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