Thursday, November 10, 2005

Opium Dense.

Colby Cosh isn't going to buy or wear a poppy because it "is no longer a popular symbol of respect for the veteran, but a brand that somehow became the aggressively defended intellectual property of the Canadian Legion."

Meanwhile, Kelowna-based Social Studies teacher Clay McLeod isn't going to buy or wear a poppy because it "acts more as a rallying cry to support military solutions to the world's problems, instead of a heart-felt and genuine plea for an end to the suffering of war."

Look, I'll debate the weirdness of wearing a narcotic flower to symbolize remembrance if you like. And I'll tell you that, in my opinion, John McCrae's poem is inappropriate for Remembrance Day ceremonies. And I'll agree with you that trademarking the poppy is stupid.

But I have bought and am going to wear the poppy because my grandfather lost a leg to a German mine, because my grandmother carried around a DDT-soaked uniform in the bottom of her bag in case she was called upon to treat patients at a newly liberated concentration camp, and because my great-grandfather was mustard-gassed serving his new country as a Ukrainian-Canadian while others with his background were being interned back home.

The silly antics of the current leadership at the Canadian Legion do not change that. Nor does a heart-felt desire to end the suffering of war.

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