Remembrance Day will now honour civilians and victims of terror after the Royal British Legion announces the red poppy isn’t just for fallen soldiers
- The red poppy’s new meaning ‘acknowledges the wider impact of conflict’
- Remembrance Day now recognises ‘innocent civilians who lost lives to terrorism’
- Forty million poppies distributed each year and raised more than £50m last year
The red poppy will be worn to remember terror and civilian victims of war for the first time this year, the Royal British Legion has said.
Remembrance Day will not only pay tribute to fallen British and allied armed forces but will be inclusive of ‘all modern Britain’.
The 98-year-old charity’s website has been updated to explain that the red poppy relates ‘to the armed forces community specifically, but not exclusively, and acknowledges the wider impact of conflict’.
It also defines Remembrance Day as recognising ‘the sacrifice of the Armed Forces community from Britain and the Commonwealth’ and the ‘innocent civilians who have lost their lives in conflict and acts of terrorism’.
The Royal British Legion has explained that the red poppy relates ‘to the armed forces community specifically, but not exclusively, and acknowledges the wider impact of conflict’
The Royal British Legion’s assistant director of remembrance, Robert Lee, said: ‘Since it was founded in 1921, the Royal British Legion has always acknowledged the human cost of conflict and looked towards a peaceful future.
‘Our core positioning hasn’t changed but we do want to make it more explicit in our language, because Remembrance is inclusive of all modern Britain and its important communities know their views and values are reflected in our activity.
The Royal British Legion’s assistant director of remembrance, Robert Lee, said: ‘Since it was founded in 1921, the Royal British Legion has always acknowledged the human cost of conflict
‘As a charity we have a particular responsibility to the Armed Forces community under our charitable remit and the deaths of personnel who have served with the British Armed Forces will always be at the heart of Remembrance for the Legion.
‘But Remembrance has a wider meaning and role, and this does include all civilians affected by conflict and terrorism.
‘Remembrance paves the way for reconciliation, but it is up to each generation to find reconciliation for themselves, and the Legion upholds its place bringing people and communities together to have these important conversations.’
Forty million poppies are distributed each year, and last year the Royal British Legion raised more than £50 million for veterans of the British armed forced and their families.
A spokeswoman told the Daily Telegraph said while the charity’s main focus is still the Armed Forces, it was important to acknowledge the sacrifice of civilians.