Re: “White poppy ceremony marks civilian war dead,” Nov. 6.
There was a time that each poppy symbolized for me the bloodshed that I and thousands of veterans like me had witnessed and so I had an aversion to Remembrance Day and the poppy that had its roots in war.
I have recently come to the realization that the seeds of peace have to be cultivated within. War certainly does not create peace, but it has laid the ground in which the seeds of peace are germinated. We can either be held back by the past or pass through it with mindful reverence and gratitude, like the stem of a flower growing into the light. We simply grow through our past so that we can flourish in our future.
I now see the poppy as a symbol of what we need to become. We need to draw from the past and, like flowers, open to reflect peace. And so I give thanks to all who have served and given their lives in order to fertilize our consciousness.
Angolan war veteran