Respecting the poppy day appeal

First published in Our View by

Last year we were all saddened and disgusted by the actions of thugs who spat at, abused and even assaulted people who were selling poppies in Bradford to raise funds for the Royal British Legion.

No-one, whoever they are, deserves such treatment, but the actions of this disgusting minority seemed yet more offensive when they are directed at those who have given their time to not only collect for charity, but to collect for a charity that honours those who have given their lives in the service of their country.

As a response to the disgraceful scenes last year, young cadets who traditionally collect for the annual poppy appeal will this year be chaperoned by members of the British Legion’s Riders branch, a group of ex-services motorcyclists.

That such measures need to be taken to protect teenagers – and children as young as ten – who are trying to help the appeal is a sad state of affairs, and those who were responsible for last year’s abuse need to look long and hard at themselves and their motives.

If the incidents reported in 2011 were in any way political, then it was a very misguided approach. Remembrance Day is not a political affair, it is an act to commemorate the war-dead who have fallen in global conflict, and to raise money to help survivors and their families.

By disrespecting the poppy appeal and heaping abuse and injury on young people who would support it, those idiots who perpetrate these actions are in fact displaying the worst aspects of human nature and any point they hope to make is lost in thuggishness.

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