Whenever I am in the UK in the first weeks of November, I join the crowds in wearing a poppy on my lapel. People often ask what it is all about when I leave it on on the continent, and I am happy to explain that it is a traditional British gesture of remembrance for those who gave their lives in the big wars. While I do not think that wearing a poppy is necessarily the first step to Britishness, I can well understand the author's emotion about many immigrants' apparent rejection of that civil gesture of community, if not identity. The community of those that fight for their freedom reaches across borders, and that's why I like to join in even though I hail from a permanently neutral country.
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