Tag Archive: Armistice Day

‘Everyone should REMEMBER’: Poppy sticks enable all cultures to pay their respects

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SUPPORTING THE FORCES: Balbir Singh and Sheila Scott display some of the different products available in Kirkstall Market’s Royal British Legion store

SUPPORTING THE FORCES: Balbir Singh and Sheila Scott display some of the different products available in Kirkstall Market’s Royal British Legion store

For over 90 years, poppies have been the symbol of unity on Armistice Day.

A way of showing support for the Armed Forces past and present, the flower replicates are worn on clothes, planted in the ground and placed in front of war memorials in wreath creations.

A concept which allows people of different religions to show their support for the project has been running for the past few years, with symbolic stakes sold by the Royal British Legion.

A wooden cross (Christianity), Crescent (Islam), Star (Judaism) Om (Hindu) and Khanda (Sikh) are all available for purchase and offer different faiths the chance to pay respect to fallen soldiers from their respected religions.

Balbir Singh is one of the advocates of the project and has been supplying stalls in Leeds with the Sikh poppy sticks.

After seeing a rise in the number of people from different communities wearing poppies this year, he said he was delighted to see people coming together for an important cause.

RELIGION: Mr Singh has been promoting the religious poppy sticks for over three years now

RELIGION: Mr Singh has been promoting the religious poppy sticks for over three years now

He added: “From last year I have noticed that more people are involved form different communities and participating in Remembrance Day.

“It’s very important because we live in a multi-cultural society and these poppies help unite the diversity.

“People from all backgrounds and cultures get involved with the poppies and it helps to create a real community feel.”

Mr Singh will be placing Sikh poppy sticks in the ground on Remembrance Sunday this year, whilst members of the Sikh community will lay a wreath at the war memorial.

He puts the increase in poppies on the street this year, down to poppy stalls in Kirkstall Market and the Merrion Centre.

Charlotte Davy, from Town Centre Securities (TCS), is heading the charity stall in the Merrion Centre and hopes to raise in excess of £20,000 for the Royal British Legion this year.

“We have poppies, broaches, pin badges, new season stock, notepads, air fresheners,  Christmas cards, umbrellas, car poppers, you name it we probably have it here,” she said.

“All our products come from the British Legion and all the money goes back to the charity. We have had a great response this year and are hopefully going to raise between £20,000 and £25,000.”

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Crowds turnout to pay respects in Leeds

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PROUD: Stakes with poppies attached were sold by the Royal British Legion as a way of allowing different faith groups to pay their respects to fallen soldiers

PROUD: Stakes with poppies attached were sold by the Royal British Legion as a way of allowing different faith groups to pay their respects to fallen soldiers

Towns and cities across the country fell silent on Armistice Day last week as the nation paid its respects to its fallen soldiers.

On Wednesday 11th November, the traditional two-minute silence was observed to mark the end of the First World War and to honour those who have died in conflict ever since.

Following on from Remembrance Sunday services, Armistice Day is often seen as a more private, reflective time, away from the larger public gatherings.

In Leeds, a well attended event was once again seen on Sunday 8th November, with ex-service men and women joining current serving military organisations outside Leeds City Museum.

Crowds then joined the gathering as they marched to the city’s war memorial where poppy wreaths were laid on behalf of the city’s residents.

POPPY: Raman Singh laid a poppy wreath in Leeds on behalf of the city’s Sikh community

POPPY: Raman Singh laid a poppy wreath in Leeds on behalf of the city’s Sikh community

Amongst those paying their respects were Balbir Singh and Raman Singh who laid a poppy wreath on behalf of the city’s Sikh community.

Prior to the occasion, the pair had helped distribute Sikh poppy stakes for the Royal British Legion which acknowledge the war efforts of Sikh soldiers in the two World Wars.

Speaking prior to the event, Balbir said: “These [poppy] sticks give followers of all religions the chance to show their respects alongside their faith.

“I have seen a record amount of poppies this year and it is a huge sign of respect.

“The sticks have grown in popularity every year since they were first made available and it is a fantastic way of seeing how different communities are coming together for this one day.

“We must remember the efforts of so many soldiers, and so many Sikhs, in the war and the sacrifice they made.”

The Lord Mayor of Leeds, Councillor Judith Chapman added: “Remembrance Sunday is a time where individually and as city we can come together as one and pay our respects to those people who lost their lives during times of conflict.

“The service at the war memorial on Victoria Gardens is always a very moving and poignant occasion, and we...say thank you to all those who made the ultimate sacrifice serving their country.”

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