May 25, 2022

In Canada, there is controversy stirring up over what colour of poppy millions of people choose to wear on Remembrance Day.

On Nov. 11, 2019 at the eleventh-hour, Canadians everywhere will pay respect to the fallen soldiers by standing still for two minutes, marking the end of hostilities of the First World War. 

The most common poppy worn is the traditional red poppy because the colour is used to symbolize the blood of those who died in battle. Also, the red poppies were growing near Flanders Fields in France, the site of a major First World War battle.

According to the War Museum website, close to 61,000 Canadians were killed during the First World War, and another 172,000 were wounded.  

However, shouldn’t we remember all people who have died during wars? 

Therefore, more people are choosing to wear the white poppy instead and some aren’t too happy about it. 

The white poppy is distributed by the Peace Pledge Union (PPU) and who state on their website: “There are three elements to the meaning of the white poppies: they represent remembrance for all victims of war, a commitment to peace and a challenge to attempts to glamorize or celebrate war.” 

The white poppy was first produced in 1933 by the Women’s Co-operative Women’s Guild to be the symbol of lasting peace and an end of all wars – worn usually by the widows and children of dead soldiers. 

Wearing the white poppy is not intended to offend anyone, it is just to stress the message of “never again,” which emerged after World War I. 

There are some people who choose to wear both colours to support soldiers and civilians. 

The Royal Canadian Legion website explains that it has trademarked the poppy, and it has the right to protect the poppy from misuse. “Our veterans bravely accepted the duty and responsibility to protect our rights and freedom; it is now our duty and responsibility to protect and honour them. We will ensure that the poppy remains the symbol of remembrance of their sacrifices.” 

Lest we forget the importance of Remembrance Day: To remember all of the ones who have passed away for Canada, not only the fighters who fought for our freedom but the citizens and children who lived in our country and deserve to be remembered.

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