BY CODY MUDGE
Once the costumes get put away and the candy has been handed out, poppies find their rightful place above the hearts of many Canadians. This tradition is supported, and organized by the Royal Canadian Legion whose main battle is to garner support for veterans who don’t receive enough financial assistance through other means.
Millions of poppies are worn each year, thousands of people volunteer their time in order to ensure they’re distributed and millions of dollars are raised through the poppy campaign.
The poppy has become synonymous with honouring our current military personnel and all of those who have been lost in service to this country. The very fact that it’s impossible not to find the poppy surrounding you in early November speaks to the success the Legion has had in maintaining awareness of our military legacy.
“Every year, for two weeks, thousands of Legion members volunteer their time to offer poppies and raise millions that will be provided to veterans and their families in need,” said Tom Eagles, the president of The Royal Canadian Legion.
Eagles and his ilk have managed to keep Remembrance Day, and all it stands for, forefront in the minds of a young generation of Canadians whose parents weren’t even alive during the Second World War era and whose experience of this nation at war starts and ends with Afghanistan. The poppies on the jackets and backpacks of students all around Conestoga College is a testament to that.
“While I am proud to be a Legion member, I am also particularly proud to see Canadians help us remember Canada’s veterans both past and present who, at the call of their country, left all that was dear to them, faced danger and, much too often, passed out of sight of all Canadians through their self-sacrifice, giving up their lives so that others may live in freedom,” Eagles said.