I’m being a little facetious, but I just did not realise what some people read into the poppy symbol.  For me it is a simple way to remember all those young men throughout the former British Empire who never came home.  To remember those from a different time with different ethics and different expectations.  Those who kissed goodbye to mums and dads, brothers and sisters, wives and girlfriends and never came home.  A chance to pay respects to young boys who died on foreign soil for a cause they knew little about but the “establishment” gave them no say in whether they participated.

On second and third readings I began to understand, emphasising the point I made at the beginning – we are all products of our upbringing.  For those with more immediate connections with the Irish troubles I can understand why any commemoration of British soldiers will be difficult to bear, especially if you see this symbol as glorification of militarisation.  But in the same way you rage against the establishment for “forcing” this symbol on you, don’t rage against me because I don’t see things your way.

You claim that this symbol is being hijacked by those glorifying war.  Across the world extremists are trying to hijack Islam, my religion – That’s their problem not mine.

Protestors hold up banners about blood stained poppy’s – Then sing songs about the IRA.

Posters on the web slaughter John Reid and call him Doctor Death – Then stick an X against for New Labour who took us into more conflicts than any other government.

For those who complain about the poppy I now understand your concerns but don’t be fooled into thinking you speak for all Celtic fans.  On Celtic websites this appears to be a majority view, yet I don’t personally know a single fan who agrees with you.  You see the poppy commemorating British militarism.  I disagree but respect your right to hold banners and complain.

I see the poppy as a way of remembering those like Patrick Slavin, Leigh Roose, Donnie McLeod, Archie McMillan, Robert Craig, John McLaughlin and Peter Johnstone and the 832,500 Muslims who fought in the British Army from 1939 – 1945.

For those anti-poppy protestors who don’t sing IRA songs and didn’t sanction the invasion of Iraq or Afghanistan by voting Labour I will write to the board and defend your right to raise a banner.  Show me and many thousand others the same respect and allow us to honour the dead our way on Sunday.

One minute’s silence? 

It is surely a measure of society as to how we honour the dead.