Please buy a poppy if you can | Havant MP Alan Mak
LAST weekend the Special Boat Service epitomised the brilliance of our armed forces.
Dropping from helicopters on to an oil tanker, they secured Nave Andromeda in just nine minutes and prevented a potential ecological disaster in the Solent.
Those Royal Navy special forces commandos put themselves at risk and faced unknown dangers when protecting our coastline.
Never more so has their motto ‘by strength and guile’ seemed more appropriate.
These are the kind of sacrifices our servicemen and women make in order to protect our country and its why charities such as the Royal British Legion exist.
The British charity, founded in 1921, provides financial, social and emotional support to members and veterans of the armed forces, as well as their families and dependants.
Alongside the government’s commitment in the armed forces covenant, they make sure our veterans have the help and support they need once they leave the forces.
Every year at Tesco in Havant I launch the Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal.
And this year was no different, albeit against the backdrop of coronavirus.
Unlike most years, people are making small sacrifices of their own and protecting themselves by not leaving the house as they normally would to buy a poppy.
From donating for poppies through the post for your neighbours and local community, displaying a poppy in your window, donating online or undertaking a virtual poppy run, there are many ways to support the Poppy Appeal from home in line with Covid-19 restrictions.
So I encourage you to either buy a poppy or contribute to the appeal in any way you can.
Coronavirus restrictions will also mean a change in how the commemorations take place on Remembrance Sunday.
Every year, I’m always touched by the support of residents during the Civic Parade through central Havant.
Hundreds of you would normally line the streets and hear the names read out of those from the Havant constituency who have made the ultimate sacrifice for their country from the Great War to today.
But that doesn’t mean you cannot still take part in remembrance.
In the same way that clapping for the NHS during lockdown brought all of us together, I encourage residents to follow the lead of the Royal British Legion and pause for the two-minute silence on your doorstep.
You can also follow the Havant civic ceremony on the St Faith’s Facebook Page or the government-led Remembrance Service at the Cenotaph, London, on the BBC.
While the circumstances might be different this year, I hope Remembrance Sunday will continue to bring the whole country together again.