White Poppies and Red Poppies

20 April, 2015

The Editor, The Wellingtonian

Dear Editor;

The White Poppy is for remembering – remembering everything that we need to remember about WW1:

WW1 was fought between European empires for dominance in Europe and access to resources in colonies around the globe; WW1 was not fought to preserve democracy and freedom.  The consequences of this empire and colonial mentality have carried through the following 100 years.  WW1 was fought despite generals and government representatives on both sides knowing that defensive weapons had come to dominate the military and therefore casualties would be catastrophic; blood and body parts were the look of battlefields.

The Allied Gallipoli campaign was poorly planned and executed and failed to achieve objectives.    The soldiers on both sides were recognized for displaying courage and discipline under impossible conditions.  Many of the soldiers who came home suffered physical, mental and soulful disfiguration throughout their lives.

WW1 illustrated that war does not bring justice or health or progress.

The Red Poppy is for remembering – and for forgetting.

Which of the list of things to remember will the Red Poppy commemorations remember and which will they forget?  Which of these lessons are being forgotten in the Middle East today?


Richard Keller

published (censored) 23 April

Note:  The editor at The Wellingtonian took exception to my accusation that he censored my letter.  Nevertheless one of the main purposes of the letter was to compare the significance (in my view) of the White Poppy and the Red Poppy.  To have the words “White” and “Red” removed from the letter clearly removed that effect!  However, the editor did say he had asked around the office if anyone knew what a “White Poppy” was and they all said no.  (This was a bit of a surprize to me as the white poppy was fairly well recognized when it was for years associated with Hiroshima commemoration in August.)  Hence, to avoid confusion, as he put it, he removed reference to the ‘White Poppy”, saying the letter still had a powerful message without it.


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