VAG to sell Poppies to support members
The Veteran Administration, Ghana, (VAG) is to embark on a massive sale of Red Poppies to solicit funds to support its members and victims of peacekeeping operations, as well as their relations.
The Red poppy has been adopted worldwide to remember and honour all those who lost their lives and continue to lose their lives in pursuit of peace.
During the First World War, red poppies were among the first plants to spring up in the devastated battlefields of northern France and Belgium. In soldiers’ folklore, the vivid red of the poppy came from the blood of their comrades soaking the ground. The sight of poppies on the battlefield at Ypres in 1915 moved Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae to write the poem In Flanders fields.
In English literature of the nineteenth century, poppies had symbolised sleep or a state of oblivion; in the literature of the First World War a new, more powerful symbolism was attached to the poppy – the sacrifice of shed blood.
However in Ghana, red poppy is also seen as a sign of respect and in remembrance of all the human lives that continues to be lost in peace support operations in countries including the Congo, Ivory Coast, Mali, Lebanon and Liberia.
Colonel Chris Nutakor, Executive Director, of VAG on Monday announced to the media that the Administration intends to organize a Poppy appeal fund and sale at a Military band concert, as a prelude to the Remembrance Day celebration, which is marked yearly on November 11, to commemorate and remind the world of the horrors and the human suffering and loss that the two World Wars brought to the world.
He said at the end of the band concert, which would be held at the premises of the Retired Commission Officers Club (RCOC) in Accra, near the Immigration Offices, and the sale of poppies would begin throughout the country, right from regional VAG offices through to cadets in all schools.
Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Vice Admiral Mathew Quashie would launch the Poppy appeal, scheduled for Thursday, October 10 at 1830 hours.
Colonel Nutakor said Ghana, then the Gold Coast, was deeply involved in the two world wars by making lots of human and material contributions towards these wars.
‘As a nation we continue to contribute troops to pursue peace in the world’, he noted and added that since the 1960s Ghana has been involved in ensuring world peace.
He entreated all Ghanaians to patronize the red poppy and pay a worthy amount to help support the activities and programmes of VAG.
‘The wearing of the poppy takes centre stage elsewhere, especially in Europe. Let us do same in Ghana because we are involved in Peace Keeping worldwide. Let Ghanaians appreciate the fact that wearing the Poppy is a gesture of acknowledging and recognizing servicemen; be they soldiers, policemen or other para military men and or organizations that their sacrifices are duly acknowledged’, Col. Nutakor added.
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