November 01, 2014 - 10:23 AM
THOMPSON-OKANAGAN - The annual poppy campaign began on Halloween and runs until Remembrance Day.
Every year legions around the country sell poppies, the international symbol of remembrance, from the last Friday in October through to Nov. 11. Cadets, veterans and volunteers will be out in the community peddling poppies and donation boxes are going up next to the cash registers at businesses.
The poppy is a symbol of remembrance for those who gave their lives and shows respect to our veterans, young and old. The 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War and 75th anniversary of the start of the Second World War both fall in 2014.
This year the murder of two Canadian soldiers on home soil also brings the sacrifice of our military men and women to the forefront, especially with one of the murders taking place at the National War Memorial. Following the shooting in Ottawa people requested poppies early and while legions offered poppies early they were unable to collect donations until Oct. 31.
The poppy campaign is used as a fundraiser to help veterans cover the costs of medical appliances, home services, care facilities and more.
More about the poppy:
- It should always be fastened on the left-hand side, close to the heart.
- Poppies should not be fastened to hats or other objects.
- While normally removed at the end of the day on Remembrance Day, many people now place it at the base of a cenotaph at the end of a ceremony as a sign of respect.
- During the Napoleonic Wars, the poppy was the flower that bloomed over the graves of fallen soldiers. It again showed up in rubble-laden soils in France and Belgium during World War I.
- John McCrae wrote about the poppies in 1915. The poem, In Flanders Fields, is now famous.
- Wearing poppies to remember the dead began in 1920, the following year the British Legion began selling the poppies to raise money for the poor and disabled veterans.
- Today 18 million poppies and 70,000 wreaths, crosses and sprays are distributed through the Poppy Campaign.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014