Today I will stand at a cenotaph and speak at a Remembrance Day event. I will have the honour to shake hands with veterans who served this country in times of war and peace. Today I will cry for a friend who never made it home after serving his country, and for another who made it home in body but not in spirit. I will cry for every soldier who died in service, who was wounded physically or mentally, and for every soldier who saw a friend, a brother or sister in arms, die or be wounded.
I have a thing for Poppies. I love them. I love what they symbolize, I love that I can grow them, and I think that they’re one of the prettiest flowers out there. I also love how they blossom on the lapels of Canadians for 2 weeks before Remembrance Day. With Remembrance day being less than 2 weeks away, I thought I’d post some fun facts and figures about our symbol of Remembrance (Source: Legion.ca)
Remember verb ri-ˈmem-bər
1. To retain in the memory; keep in mind; remain aware of.
2. To recall to the mind by an act or effort of memory; think of again.
Today is the last Friday in October, which means that it’s the start of Poppy Campaign by the local branches of the Royal Canadian Legion. I have worn the same poppy for the past three years but I always make a donation into the box whenever I see a volunteer giving out poppies. It’s a common misconception that poppies are for sale. Poppies are not for sale, rather they are freely given away. You can choose to make a donation but it is not mandatory. According to the website of the Royal Canadian Legion, “During the Poppy Campaign some 18 million poppies and 70,000 wreaths, crosses and sprays are distributed across Canada and overseas annually”. 18 million poppies. The number is staggering. When you make a donation to the Legion through the annual Poppy Campaign, the money is used to help veterans and the families of veterans. The main purpose of the Poppy Campaign, though, isn’t to raise money but to remind Canadians of the sacrifices made by over 117,000 Canadians who died in service to their country.