Remembrance day is approaching quickly. Recently I saw cadets at save-on here on campus selling poppies. I was surprised because this was still during October, a day before Halloween.
Remembrance day is a massive deal for commonwealth nations as it commemorates all soldiers lost during world war 1; this day also serves as a day to remember all Canadian soldiers lost in wars Canadian veterans participated in. It is common to buy a poppy from a cadet selling poppies; this money goes to charity to support veterans and veterans' families. But I wish to envision a world where veterans are supported regardless of the money raised by poppies. The government should willingly support a population of people who they themselves ordered to war.
The poppy is traditionally made from felted pressed plastic, but now they are transitioning to a biodegradable poppy; you will probably not see any yet this season being distributed as they are currently phasing out the plastic poppy.
The poppy is typically worn one day or one week out of the year; it is a sign of patriotism and unity that unites us to commemorate people lost in brutal warfare. At the same time, having this sign also be a disposable piece of mass-produced garbage disrespects veterans and the poem Flanders Fields (such a beautiful and sensitive poem does not deserve to be commercialized like this). Obsession of patriotism's performance blinds us from meeting veterans' needs and makes us feel better about the work we are doing. Before we also took the opportunity to switch poppies to biodegradable, this holiday of remembrance would produce large amounts of poppy-related garbage (pins included). Instead of the cadets being forced to sell small plastic flowers to raise funds for veterans, the government can adequately support these programs.
We should evaluate how plastic is used in cultural activities like this more; I think we can start to read a lot about our cultural traditions that also involve extreme levels of industrial cooperation.