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Ritchie should be proud to wear a poppy

I WAS delighted to see that the leader of the SDLP Margaret Ritchie and some of her party colleagues, including the Mayor of Belfast Pat Convery, were wearing the poppy at the Remembrance Services his year.

I was then disappointed to read that she "had to think" before she wore it.

I have proudly worn the poppy for many years to remember the thousands of men and women who made the supreme sacrifice so that we might live.

The First World War would not have been won if it had not been for the men and women who signed up to many regiments such as the Dublin Fusiliers, Connaught Rangers and Munster Rangers etc at a time when Ireland was united.

Similarly the Second World War had many who signed up from the South as well as the North of Ireland.

They did not have to think about signing up but gave their today for all our tomorrows.

Politics should not be a factor but we should all remember their deeds as well and salute those who, again from both North and South, are still dying and being injured for the freedom, not just for the people of Afghanistan and Iran but for freedom in the modern world.

As a Trustee of the Somme Association, I warmly invite Ms Ritchie to visit the Somme Heritage Centre and tour of the exhibitions of the various conflicts that Irishmen were involved in and then hopefully she might not have to think about the wearing of the symbol of remembrance for all our brave men and women from all backgrounds and cultures in Ireland who answered the call to battle without hesitation.


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