Whilst in class, a student spotted that on my maroon5 hoodie across my chair, was a poppy. They wanted to know firstly, what it was, and why was I wearing it. It is important to note, that the students I teach are international, and wouldn’t necessaily be aware of what this particular red and black flower represents.
These questions made me stop for a moment. I wanted to make it clear, explain why I wore it without getting overwrought or even offending anyone. I had been caught on the hop, when all I could think about was my lesson.
I started to talk about Armistice day, the guns falling silent at 11, 11, 11. How there were many soldiers in many conflicts, some of whom were of Indian origin. There are soldiers today who go to a conflict, and when they come home need help and support. Many go, few return. Then another of my students surprised me. Turned to their class mate, and in a rather mate of fact way, said the word respect. A simple word that conveyed much more than I could ever explain.
I wear a poppy, because i want to, because I can. It is a simple gesture and a mark of respect. A thank you.
War and conflict are never a good thing, they never will be. The costs are always high, and no one ever wins.
I wear a poppy, as an acknowledgment and a thank you. I take note of the choice made, the potential sacrifice. It is my way of acknowledging, that those who come back, have my support. I could never understand, the experiences of men, women, who go off to a conflict. This though, is my way trying, and to stand shoulder to shoulder with those who come back. Those who come back, and for one reason or another face challenges.
This somewhat echoes what I told my students. The those who go off to conflict are human too. They have friends, families.
In making a donation, £1.50 it was. For a paper and plastic flower, it is a thank you and you are not forgotten. I wear that poppy, regardless of colour, creed and political allegiance.
And why, do I have a marigold at the top?
Marigolds signify courage and sacrafice. Same thing, but not difference.