for next year’s Veterans Day. When we were in Canada last week, I noticed a lot of people wearing it. I didn’t know until this trip that Canadians make a whole week of it, combining Memorial Day and Veterans Day, and there’s complete support for their troops. So everyone sprouts a red pin. ISHI wondered if the airport security people gave them a hard time about the metal, as he was busy taking off his belt, his watch, dumping his change into the bin. I informed him that I don’t take off my jewelry; it’s just the clunky stuff that’s a problem (as if…).
So what is the power of the pin? First of all, it’s visually stunning. And I think that’s enough to make it much more of a statement than the magnetic ribbons that we can throw on our cars. Or is it that branding your car is more of a statement than what you wear in the US ? Nah. It’s just easier, I think. We’re constitutionally lazy here.
So what’s more impressive, of course, is the reasoning behind the pin. Veterans Day is also known as Poppy Day there, as a link to the poem In Flanders Field (I guess apostrophes are in short supply around this season). You can read it for yourself here, if you’d like, and you can read more about how the poem was written here. Quite moving, really.
Of course, wouldn’t ya know, there is a movement now in Canada to change the red poppy pins to white as a protest against Canada’s participation in the war machine. I just got this email with another link to the poppies from eNature and they just list the white business oh-so-matter-of-factly. You can read it here, if you so desire. So, of course, there’s push back to say, “Why can’t we just support our troops without making a political statement?”
But, of course, that is a political statement.
Which should be made.
P.S. Here is is a year later, now November 10, 2011–I am responding to this entry, if you want to take a look:). Thanks for coming and don’t forget to tell me what you think!