Poppy tradition continues but only just!

IssueNovember 2008
Feature by Kelvin Mason

Once again this year Aberystwyth Town Council will lay a white poppy wreath at the war memorial. The ceremony takes place on Saturday 8 November at 11am. In taking this action Aberystwyth Town Council is unique in Britain. But the decision to maintain the tradition was not made easily. It took the casting vote of the Mayor, Sue Jones-Davies.
The white poppy not only commemorates all those who suffer in wars; it also sends out the message that “there are better ways to resolve conflicts than killing strangers”.
Britain is the world’s second largest arms exporter. The white poppy represents hope for a culture in which preparation for armed conflict is considered an immoral rather than a valid economic activity.
Prior to the Council’s decision, Aberystwyth Peace and Justice Network and the Royal British Legion failed to reconcile the red and white poppy traditions. In September Aberystwyth RBL wrote to the Council that “the White Poppy is not a charitable thing… November is the Remembrance of those who gave their lives in the service of their country.”
Meanwhile, Welsh Assembly Member Bethan Jenkins will call on Neath and Port Talbot Council to follow Aberystwyth’s example. “I hope Councils all over Wales heed Bethan’s call,” said Lotte Reimer of AP&JN.

See more of: Wales