Old Red Jacket Talker

Just an old RCMP dispatcher’s ramblings . . .

Poppy Time

It is that time of the year once again when we can ‘officially’ wear a poppy.

The Royal Canadian Legion dictates that the wearing of a poppy should only be worn during the Remembrance period, starting on the last Friday of October and ending at midnight on Nov. 11, or at other veteran-related special events. Of course civilians can and do wear poppies whenever they want. There is no law against this and to some people they feel it shows respect for our military all year long.

A few other reminders for ‘Poppy’ time as reported by CTV News in 2008 are as ‘quote’:

Poppy protocol:

– The poppy should be worn as close to the heart as possible or on the left lapel of the outermost garment.

– The poppy should only be worn during the Remembrance period, starting the on last Friday of October and ending at midnight on Nov. 11, or at other veteran-related special events.

– The poppy should never be defaced in any way including replacing its pin.

– An old poppy should never be reused. Appropriate disposal of the poppy is left to the discretion of each individual.

– Any poppies found lying on the ground would be best placed lying at the foot of a war monument or in a local cemetery.

Little known facts:

– Until 1996, poppies were handmade by veterans in Vetcraft workshops in Montreal and Toronto. The work provided a small source of income for disabled ex-service persons.

– While the traditional lapel poppy is the most popular, car models, large table varieties and metal pins are also available at most Legion branches.

– The centre of the poppy was originally black but was changed to green more than twenty years ago to represent the green fields of France. In 2002, it was changed back to black to reflect the actual colours of the poppies that grew in Flanders, Belgium.

– The poppy is an international “symbol of collective reminiscence.”

– Poppies have been associated with those killed in combat since the Napoleonic Wars of the 19th century, more than 110 years before being adopted in Canada.

– Prior to the First World War, few poppies grew in Flanders. Trench warfare enriched the soil with lime from rubble, allowing “popaver rhoes” to thrive. When the war ended, the lime was quickly absorbed and poppies began to disappear again.

– In 1915, Guelph, Ont. native John McCrae, a doctor serving with the Canadian Forces Artillery, wrote about the poppy explosion in his famous poem In Flanders Fields.

– An American woman inspired by McCrae’s poem wore the flower year round and exported the idea to Madame Guérin of France who sold the handmade poppies to raise money for poor children. Guérin later convinced friends in Canada to adopt the symbol as well. ‘unquote’

The monies that local Legions make from the sale of the poppies and wreaths are used for the betterment and welfare of Veterans and their families in your local area. So the main thing is to purchase a poppy (or two, or three, or more), and wear them proudly during this time of the year (or all year if you are so inclined).

Lest We Forget


October 30, 2009 - Posted by | Legion

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