IT’S Remembrance Day this weekend and, you would think, an opportunity for thousands of families to remember their loved ones who had died in conflicts.

The poppy has long been the symbol of this time of year – poppies flourished in Flanders Field after the First World War’s terrible trench warfare – and this symbol means much to many people.

This year, though, the whole subject has been embroiled in rows because so many young people believe it just “glorifies” war. Figures show that a third of Britons under 25 will not wear a poppy as part of the Royal British Legion appeal this year. That amounts to around 11 per cent of the population.

Although it’s very disappointing that they should feel this way, it’s fairly understandable because the reality of war is relevant to fewer people today. Fewer people are survivors from the Second World War and, although there are still a large number of those who have served – and are serving – in the Armed Forces, some of them may not have experienced warzones. The main argument for supporting the poppy appeal, however, is not to do with specific conflicts now. It is all about supporting those who have been involved in conflicts and need our help.

The Royal British Legion raises £43million each year for service personnel and veterans. Many of these are in homes that rely on the appeal for support and there are thousands of lives dependent on this simple act of giving.

I really do understand that many young people today are appalled by what war has brought, and is bringing, to ordinary people of all ages around the world. They don’t want to be part of that kind of aggression and believe it simply should not happen.

But no one really wants war. The people of this country didn’t want war in 1939 but they had to act for humanitarian reasons. And, even though it would be naïve to believe that all modern wars are so simple, if nations don’t take action to help save people in other countries how can we call ourselves humans in any sense of the word?

Flags will fly at the weekend and people and organisations will march in town centres like Bolton to show the world that those who made the ultimate sacrifice for a just cause are not forgotten. And it’s more important than ever that we never forget.