Anzac Day, the Remembrance Day in Australia and New Zealand, is next week. As in the UK, it is popular to wear a red poppy as a sign of respect to the soldiers who died in wars. The donations from buying the poppies go to supporting ex-servicemen, which I feel is a very important cause.
In recent years, at least in the UK, there is also a (slow) growing trend wearing white poppies, instead of or as well as red poppies. These are worn to symbolise peace and the rejection of war as a way to resolve conflicts, and the donations are used by the Peace Pledge Union to promote peace and research alternatives to militarism and warfare.
Even in the UK, many people are not familiar with the white poppies. Here in New Zealand, they are even less well known. I am hoping to help raise awareness about the Peace Pledge Union and white poppies. I have started this by ‘buying’ (giving a donation) for 10 white poppies, which I will be distributing to friends and family. Also, I contacted the New Zealand branch of Peace Pledge Union and have offered to create a stall selling white poppies and raising awareness about their campaign for Anzac Day next year (I left it a little late this year).
http://www.ppu.org.uk – Peace Pledge Union website
http://www.ppu.org.uk/whitepoppy/index.html – about white poppies