Sunday, November 2, 2008
The Ottawa White Poppy Collective will lay a wreath decorated with white poppies at the War Memorial on November 11 at 12:30 P.M.
We have chosen not to lay our wreath during the public wreath laying time near the end of the official ceremony to avoid any appearance of competition with or distraction from that ceremony. We will be conducting our own small ceremony as an alternative to the socially-sanctioned one. Meeting each year for a ceremony in which the trappings and nostalgia of war are clearly prominent will not end war. We remember all those who died and are dying in war, soldier and civilian alike, by working to prevent war. The white poppy is a symbol, a pledge that war must not happen again. It is also a challenge to the worn-out belief in violence as a means of conflict resolution.
History of the white poppy: in 1933 the Co-operative Women's Guild produced the first white poppies to be worn on Armistice Day (later called Remembrance Day). The idea for a white poppy arose from the concerns of the wives, mothers, sisters and lovers of the men who had died and been injured in World War One. Increasingly aware of the likelihood of another war, they chose this symbol “as a pledge to Peace that war must not happen again.” See the Peace Pledge Union website: http://www.ppu.org.uk/whitepoppy/index.html.