Thousands of volunteers began handing out red poppies across Canada on Friday, Oct. 25, the start of The Royal Canadian Legion’s National Poppy Campaign which runs until Nov. 11.
“This period of Remembrance is a sacred time in Canada,” says Legion Dominion President Thomas D. Irvine. “It is imperative that we all spend time over the coming days learning the stories of our Veterans, and thinking about the ultimate sacrifices they made so that we can enjoy the freedoms we have in Canada today.”
Close to 20 million poppies will be distributed over a two-week period in Canada and abroad and because of generous donors, close to that same number of dollars will go back into initiatives to support our Veterans. Funds raised locally are used locally to support Veterans and their families, our communities, and to promote Remembrance. This is also the second year that people can visit MyPoppy.ca and get a Digital Poppy.
On the evening of Oct. 25 this year, another meaningful activity marked the start of the Remembrance period. The Virtual Wall of Honour is a special video montage of fallen Veterans who will appear on screens at Parliament Hill in Ottawa. Submitted by families, the hundreds of images are a poignant reminder of those who have served. At the same time, this year’s Poppy Drop on Parliament Hill will see 117,000 virtual poppies falling on Centre Block for the duration of the Remembrance Period. Each poppy represents a fallen Canadian Veteran. The Poppy Drop can be viewed live online on the inaugural night via the Legion’s Facebook account.
This year’s Remembrance period includes special mention of Veterans who fought on D-Day, on June 6, 1944. It is the 75th anniversary of the milestone event, which was instrumental in ending the war in Europe. In addition, 2019 marks the fifth anniversary of the end of Canada’s mission in Afghanistan.
Each year, the Legion also chooses and names the country’s National Silver Cross Mother, and her name and story will be released on Nov. 1.
The symbolic beginning of the National Poppy Campaign was on Oct. 15, with the presentation of the First Poppy to Her Excellency The Right Honourable Julie Payette, Governor General and Commander-in-Chief of Canada. It culminates with the Legion’s National Remembrance Day Ceremony at the National War Memorial in Ottawa on Nov. 11.
About The Royal Canadian Legion
Founded in 1925, the Legion is Canada’s largest Veteran support and community service organization. The Legion is a non-profit organization with a national reach across Canada as well as branches in the U.S., Europe and Mexico. They have close to 260,000 members, many of whom volunteer an extraordinary amount of time to their branches.
Barriere Legion on Facebook: Royal Canadian Legion Branch 242