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Why the Poppy Appeal must not be overlooked in Suffolk during the pandemic



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The current pandemic has, and still is taking its toll worldwide.

Hundreds of thousands have lost their lives and families have suffered, and are still suffering, across the globe, today.

But even in these turbulent and difficult times, it is important, perhaps more than ever, to remember and commemorate the contribution of British and Commonwealth military and civilian servicemen and women, in this century's two World Wars and later conflicts.

Ken Rowbottom , county chairman of the Suffolk Royal British Legion, on VJ Day, at Bury St Edmunds War Memorial. Picture by Mecha Morton.
Ken Rowbottom , county chairman of the Suffolk Royal British Legion, on VJ Day, at Bury St Edmunds War Memorial. Picture by Mecha Morton.

Here, as Poppy Appeal 2020 gets underway, Ken Rowbottom, Suffolk Royal British Legion county chairman, explains why:

"We are now in October and Autumn is with us, the month of November is ever closer and with it heralds the start of the annual Remembrance Commemorations throughout Great Britain.

In 2019 the Poppy Appeal and Remembrance Day were commemorated in the customary manner and once again our sincerest thanks to friends, supporters and the general public for their most generous financial support. It was a magnificent gesture.

This year in 2020 we looked forward to celebrating and commemorating two major events, VE Day on the 8th May 2020, that marked the end of the hostilities in Europe in 1945, followed by VJ Day,on August 15th that marked the cessation of hostilities in Burma and South East Asia, for all British, Allied and Commonwealth Forces.

Little did we know that Great Britain would be subject to an attack, the like of which had never been seen before, apart from The Spanish Flu epidemic shortly after the end of World War 1.

The corona virus pandemic gained momentum through February and at the end of

March, Great Britain went into lock down and with it the numerous restrictions imposed upon the Country by a Government that has been desperate to prevent a further spread of the virus and the spiraling death toll.

We are now seeing a second surge of the virus and because of the restrictions that are still in place, our fundraising activities this year in support of The Poppy Appeal and Remembrance will be severely curtailed.

As an example there will be no door to door Poppy Appeal collections, there will be a limited number of outlets at which poppies will be available and much more use will

be made of modern technology, to donate to The Poppy Appeal.

There will be no formal Remembrance Day Parades in the County, due to the government restrictions that are in place to curb an increase in the spread of the corona virus.

We still have a duty of care to our veterans, the WW2 Veterans are still with us, albeit they are fewer and frailer each year.

We have other veterans with us, the legacy of numerous conflicts that our armed forces have been engaged in since the end of World War2: Korea, Malaysia, Suez, Cyprus, Borneo, Aden, Northern Ireland, The Falkland Islands.

We have also witnessed the recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. In these two conflicts the introduction of new tactics, weaponry and powerful munitions have created horrific and life changing injuries for our service personnel.

Our medical services have responded magnificently to this challenge, with significant

advances in life saving surgery, new methods of treatment, advanced prosthetics and after care treatment for the severely wounded. In former years those severe

injuries that would have resulted in the death of a service person, can now be treated using the vast range of modern surgical and medical procedures that can be

brought into play.

It is our duty, to care for the veterans and to ensure that they can enjoy a decent quality of life. They will be with us for many years to come and we must never forget the service that they have given to our Country, to ensure that we live in peace.

It is stressed that the Poppy Appeal is NOT cancelled. The Poppy Appeal is NOT postponed, it will be conducted in a totally different format this year.

In previous years the generous donations given by supporters have been instrumental in enabling the Poppy Appeal to provide essential support to the veterans and

their families.

In November please remember to buy and wear your poppy. It is the world wide flower of remembrance and in wearing it, we can show that those persons who gave

their lives for freedom and those persons who still carry the scars of those numerous conflicts are always

remembered."

You cn donate to the Poppy Appeal 2020, here

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