Feedback we have received over the
years from wearers of white poppies.
- Thank you very much for the information on your website,
especially for the PDF files that enable people like
members of my family to print the white poppy image
ourselves and make our own buttons.
- As a veteran, I'm a strong proponent of the principles and
call to action that the White Poppy campaign
represents. I applaud your efforts to get the word
out to the public at large. Keep up the great work!
I feel that a white poppy for civilians and a red poppy for veterans to commemorate those who died during war is appropriate, and should not be considered "disrespectful" and offensive to Veterans. I think the white poppy is fitting for Remembrance Day, as the civilian casualties are as great a loss as those of the military personnel.
- Korean War Veteran David Laskey
As a veteran of
the First Gulf War and fifteen years in the Canadian
Armed Forces, I was happy to discover the White Poppy
Movement. It touched me on a couple of
First, it put me
in mind of another white flower movement that was
begun to oppose a militaristic government, and whose
motivations were peaceful relations between all
peoples. They used nonviolent ways to spread
their message of peace.
As a military
veteran and a student of history the red poppy is also
very important to me. It reminds me of the
brothers and sisters in arms who gave their lives so
that others could have peace.
This is why I
will proudly wear the white poppy of peace beside the
red poppy of remembrance: to honour and remember
those whose sacrifice helped to ensure my freedom to
write this little note about peace.
I am a 95 year old veteran, who served in the Canadian Forces for almost 30 years, in 3 theaters of war...and with the UN in Korea. I wore the white poppy this year beside the respected red poppy because I wanted to honour non-military casualties, as well as the military casualties. As we have discovered, modern warfare is TOTAL. It makes no distinction between civilian and military. Weapons of destruction now target civilians every bit as much, if not more so than military formations and installations. It is time for all of us, including The Royal Canadian Legion to recognize this.
- WWII Veteran Lieut. Colonel Woodrow Coward
From Poppy Wearers
- I have been looking for white poppies everywhere. I think it is such a
wonderful idea. It has always bothered me that we only remember the
soldiers who die in wars and not ALL people who die in wars. Why are
the civilians less valued?
- I’m getting mixed reactions with the people I speak to about it on the
street. Some are delighted to have an alternative and others fall back on the
controversy with the red poppy of the Legion. My sister is upset with me as
she is part of the poppy drive for her Legion. Oh well, each to their own!
From Poppy Distributors
- I'm just about out of poppies! Amazing - people really want them. I'm down to about 10.........Do you have any left?
- Last year I sold ALL the poppies I had purchased and probably could have sold more.
- One of my clients actually called me to say, “Why is it that I have been alive for 44 years and have never heard of these beautiful things?”.
- We only have 20 of the White Poppy left. Not sure how many you had originally left. People are very happy to see them on the counter.
From High School Students
- I think we made a real splash here, though only 42 people had poppies, our message of peace definitely made its way down the high school grapevine. Which is really big accomplishment considering I live in a military community, with strong pro-war opinions.
In fact, there were a lot of cases when there were people who militantly disagreed with us, confronted us, and then after hearing our message of "If we really want to honour the memories of those who have fallen, wouldn't we want others not to suffer the same end?" actually changed their assessment of us, some actually taking a poppy themselves!
There were some teachers and staff who caused us a little hell, asking students to take the poppies off ... However there were no major incidents, and no one was punished for wearing a poppy.
This was a huge success in my opinion, I definitely want to be involved next year and distribute the real ones. Keep my email on file and keep in touch, I'll definitely be around for the next campaign!
- We have seen the devastation caused by war, and we know that it is not the right path for our future. We see the white poppy as a commitment to peace in the present and future, while we wear a red poppy lest we forget the great sacrifices made in times past and present. The youth of today will inherit the world of tomorrow and we hope to live in a world where there is peace without the need for violence.
- The white poppy is important as an educational tool. At a time when the arms trade is worth over a trillion dollars, where so many wars rage around the world and where the majority of those who die in those wars are civilians, it is important to question the morality of war, who benefits from war and why we continue to resort to violence. The white poppy symbolizes peace and asks us to rememeber all victims of war including civilian and soldiers, brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers, sons and daughters whether they be foreign or local.
- Some of the kids chose to wear the white poppies, others both the red and white poppies and some chose to wear just the red poppy. I sent you the letters of the kids who chose to wear the white poppies. I would love to be involved again next year and hope that some of my staff will want to be as well.
From Grade School Students
Students at Thunderbird Elementary with
mixed poppy wreaths illustrating changed proportion of civilian and combatant deaths from WW1 to now.
- Shawn, age 10
I think I would choose to wear the white poppy because I think the red poppy respects the war soldiers but I think the white wants to represent peace and I think peace is important. If there is peace from the beginning, there will be no such thing as war and in the future, I want peace for eternity.
- James, age 10.
I prefer the white poppy because it symbolizes peace. And I like peace because it is to oppose war, and war never ever leads to a good end, and always causes destruction.
- Devin, age 10
I'm wearing a white poppy because it supports victims of war, as well as soldiers who have returned home. The white poppy represents peace, but the red poppy symbolizes war, in a way. The red poppy suggests that war of violence is the answer to all of our problems. I do not feel pressured about wearing a white poppy instead of a red poppy
- Brianne, age 10
I chose to wear a white poppy because I think it symbolizes peace to stop war and to symbolize the people who went to fight in the war for us. I don't wear a red poppies because I think it symbolizes war in a way that means war is ok. And I do not feel pressured wearing a white poppy because my friends do not really care about what poppy I wear.
- Giovana, age 10
Why I am wearing what I'm wearing? I am wearing a white poppey on rememberance day not a red one because the white poppy is the not the original poppy and the [red?] 's the original and it makes more sense to wear a white one. I am not feeling pressured that I am wearing a white poppy because I thinck everyone should know about it, and learn more about it.
From Sharon and Norman Schmidt in Altona MB
- A Tale of Two Poppies , Quilts by Sharon and Norman Schmidt. www.summerkitchen.ca
We are all familiar with the poem In Flanders Fields, by the Canadian physician and soldier John McCrae, which he wrote in response to the many poppies he saw growing over the graves of fallen comrades in the ﬂanders region of Belgium during the war of 1914-18. The poem inspired many of the British Commonwealth countries to adopt the red poppy as a symbol of remembrance for the soldiers who fell during that war, and is an apt symbol for the blood spilt. Since then the red poppy’s use as a remembrance symbol has spread to other countries and now also represents the fallen soldiers of all wars, giving focus to their supreme sacriﬁce. Wearing artiﬁcial red poppies has become traditional for Remembrance Day. They are used to raise funds through donations, given to help war veterans.
But the red poppy symbol has had its problems. Not everyone has felt comfortable wearing it. People are not of one mind about what remembrance means. Not just soldiers died. There are those who are concerned that the poppy has come to be associated too closely with military might and the justiﬁcation of war, despite remembering the sacriﬁces past.
So in 1933 the Women's Co-operative Guild, a British women’s peace organization, adopted the white poppy as their emblem, which has since become acknowledged as a symbol of peace beyond Great Britain; a symbol of “grief for all people of all nationalities, armed forces and civilians alike, who are victims of war.” Some people now wear both a red and a white poppy on Remembrance Day, others only one or the other, depending on what they think the day means.
Like the red poppy, the white poppy has also had its problems. War veterans have sometimes seen it as an affront, a symbol competing with the red poppy, without realizing that its meaning does not exclude them, but includes all war victims and goes further to represent the desire for “no more war” and non-violent solutions to various disputes.
"True Cost of Peace" song by Bill Hood in Vancouver
There's a space in my heart to remember the dead
as the carnage keeps piling around.
Now it's not just the soldiers who are sent in harm's way
that I want to make sure I remember.
It's the 200 million who have died in the years
since we've ended the war to end war.
We've changed the way that we do business now
and the dead ones are mostly civilians.
So I wear a white poppy too on this day
beside my red one reminding we pay
with our lives and our health as the currency used
and we search for the true cost of peace.
Why do we still find such a clear path to war
and we still manufacture new guns.
When the leaders still call on our warrior pride
I wonder just what we remember.
Just what it is that we need to be at peace
like justice for each mother's child
regardless of the way they might have been born
or who owns the land that they live on.
Chorus: So I wear ...
In 1934 they were first passed around
and some brave people wore them with pride.
Now, I have a chance to wear one of my own,
and I won't let this chance pass me by.
Now go find a child and ask them what they think
about how we should settle our fights.
Before the ink has dried on the lies
many will die in the crossfire.
Chorus: So I wear ...
Help us please find the true cost of peace.