A poppy is only to be worn on the left side. You must not put any kind of pin in it other than the one it came with. You may only wear your poppy from the last Friday in October until Remembrance Day. When Remembrance Day is over, your poppy must be left at a veteran’s grave.
I cannot tell you how many arguments I’ve seen in the past month over Remembrance Day and what’s right and what’s wrong and what’s respectful and what’s not. I’ve seen people berated for not following the rules of poppy wearing. Here’s what I think. Brave men and women have died for our freedom. Many others have sacrificed so much for us – taken time away from their families to protect us, taken care of their families while their loved one served overseas, provided aid to the troops, and so much more. Sometimes I wonder if they’re looking at us and thinking, “This is what I made these sacrifices for? Petty arguments over poppy rules?”
To me, what really matters the most is that we remember. What really matters is that we are grateful and somehow we display that gratitude. What really matters is that we take time out of our busy lives to acknowledge what has been sacrificed for us. When I see someone wearing a poppy, I honestly don’t notice what side they’re wearing it on, I don’t pay attention to the date, I don’t care what kind of pin they’re using to attach it to their coats. What I do notice is that it’s there. I see it and I think of the sacrifices. I see it and in my heart, my mind, and my soul, I offer up words of gratitude for those sacrifices.
“And so when we see a poppy worn, Let us reflect on the burden borne, By those who gave their very all, When asked to answer their country’s call. That we at home in peace might live.
Then wear a poppy, Remember And give.” – from a poem by Don Crawford