Poppy appeal: Why we wear a poppy as North East prepares to mark Armistice Day and Remembrance Sunday

As the nation prepares to come together for Remembrance, poppies are worn by many people as a show of support for the Armed Forces community.

Armistice Day is recognised on Friday, November 11 while this year’s Remembrance Sunday observance falls on Sunday, November 13. The dates give a national opportunity for communities to unite and recognise the sacrifice and service of Armed Forces personnel and veterans.

Each November, some of us wear poppies to show support for the Armed Forces and all they have done to protect our way of life. Though the choice to wear a poppy is a highly personal one, it’s well-recognised as a symbol of hope, peace and Remembrance.

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From honouring those who gave their lives for crown and country, showing respect for those still serving at home or abroad to remembering a loved one who made the ultimate sacrifice; what does wearing a poppy mean in communities across the North East?

Here are some of your stories as we prepare to mark Remembrance events where we are. Thank you to everyone who contributed.

‘To show our respect’

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Nick Mapplebeck: “It’s the very least we, as individuals and as a country can do. To show our respect for those who fought on behalf of our nation that allows us the freedoms and liberties we enjoy today. It’s an enduring symbol that transcends both wars of old and new. It doesn’t cost or take much to do and is a gentle nod to remember. When you go home, tell them of us and say, 'for your tomorrows these gave their today’.”

Heather Edwards: “A mark of respect and gratitude for all who have served.”

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People have been sharing why they wear a poppy ahead of Armistice Day and Remembrance Sunday.

Lynne Pennington: “Pride and mark of respect to all fallen soldiers.”

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Julie Rodgerson: “Mark of respect and gratitude for what they did for our country.”

Lee Gardiner: “RESPECT for those who fought on behalf of our nation.”

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‘I have a life thanks to those who gave theirs’

Poppy wreaths laid at The Cenotaph war memorial, London, for the National Service Of Remembrance in 2021. Picture: Hollie Adams/Getty Images.
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Lester Gray: “To me it’s a sign of respect to our armed forces from the past and present, and the sacrifice they have made or willing to make and or making to keep us safe.”

Colin Place: “I have a life thanks to those who gave theirs without question.”

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Julie Craggs: “Being so proud of all the people that sacrificed so much for us to be here today.”

Margaret Dawson: “Thanking and remembering the ones who fought and for those who lost their lives for the rest of us. We should be for ever grateful.”

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Jim Tansey: “Wearing one shows gratitude and respect for the brave men and women (and animals) who gave their all to ensure our freedom and way of life.”

Joan Mordey: “Remembering all the very brave men and women who gave their lives for this country I'm so very proud of them.”

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Pam Brannigan: “Honouring all those who gave their all so we could have our tomorrow. Lest we forget.”

Gaynor Clarke: “To never forget those who died in war and to do everything in our power to stop it happening again. To ensure their lives were not lost for nothing. All of us are responsible for keeping peace.”

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Brian Ridge: “A time to remember those that paid the ultimate sacrifice.”

Freda Walker: “It’s my salute to those brave men and women who died.”

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‘I am, and always will be proud of him’

Lorraine Mullenax: “Remembering our Mum who sadly lost our Dad toward the end of the war I cannot imagine how she must have suffered."

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Joan Eggleston: “Everything. I was a longtime serviceman’s wife for many years, service gave up their lives for our freedom, we should never forget.”

Lilian Turner: “For my Dad and everyone else who fought to keep our country safe.”

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Neil Coltman: “Both my grandfather and my wife’s grandfather lost their lives onboard minesweepers, and ex forces myself RN, but I wear it respecting all that fought for us.”

Mags Cass: “I wear mine for my great grandfather and uncle who were both killed in action in World War Two, and for all past and present soldiers.”

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Pauline Dixon: “I remember as a little girl going to the cenotaph with my dad, I didn't realise at the time but he must have been remembering comrades who hadn't come home from the war. Dad was in the Royal Navy and his name was Andrew Wild. I am, and always will be proud of him.”

Ken Coulson: “Wear mine because my grandad, and great uncle were killed in 1916 at the Somme, both killed in November. We Will Remember Them.”