The Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal celebrates its traditional meeting of commemoration at the Hotel Servigroup Nereo
On Friday the 19th, the traditional Poppy Appeal was held in Benidorm, organized annually by the Royal Bristish Legion (RBL) and joined by British residents and tourists from all over the province.
After the parade of standards and British veterans along the Paseo de la Playa de Levante which was led by the Torrevieja Pipes and Drums and two Chelsea Pensioners an endearing act of tribute to the fallen was held in the Avenida de la Ametlla de Mar and attended by the vice-consul of the United Kingdom of Great Britain in Alicante, Elisabeth Bell, Major Allen on behalf of the British Army, the president of the RBL Donald Cubbon, the first deputy mayor Ana Pellicer and the Mayor of Benidorm, Toni Pérez.
At the end of the ceremony, a hundred members of the Royal British Legion met on the terraces of the Hotel Nereo in Benidorm to culminate a day of camaraderie that lasted with a lunch of fraternization in the hotel.
The Royal British Legion (RBL) is a British charity that provides financial, social and emotional support to active members and veterans of the British Armed Forces, family members and dependents.
It has more than 700,000 members in all the world, of which about four thousand reside in Spain and more than a thousand in the province of Alicante.
It is financed by the sale of commemorative cloth poppies, made by people with disabilities, to commemorate this celebration of the Poppy Appeal (Poppy of Remembrance).
The Poppy of the Remembrance from the poem "In Flanders Fields" by the Canadian army lieutenant colonel John McCrae, written in May of 1915 after the death of Lieutenant Alexis Helmer in the 2nd Battle of Ypres (where chemical gases were used) and published in the Punch magazine on 8th of December 1915.
There is still some controversy regarding the first verse of the poem: "In Flanders fields the poppies blow ...", wrote McCrae; "In Flanders fields the poppies grow ...", published Ernest Clegg. Be that as it may, it is a symbol.
It was the North American Moina Michael, from the YMCA of the University of Georgia, who launched the proposal to commemorate the soldiers who fought in the IGM with a poppy.
At the end of the contest the American Legion adopted the symbol to honor the deceased.
In 1921 Field Marshal Douglas Haig founded the Royal British Legion and adopted the Poppy of Remembrance as a symbol of support for veteran and retired soldiers of the British Empire Armed Forces.