Wearing a poppy in remembrance; what you need to know

Callie Hermanson
Lakeside Leader

There is a certain etiquette when it comes to the wearing of poppies. The tradition, according to Slave Lake Royal Canadian Legion Branch #110 President Beth McDonald is to wear them over the heart. It is also presumed that poppies will not be worn after Remembrance Day, which is November 11.

The poppy became the symbol of remembrance after the famous memorial poem “In Flanders Fields” by Lieutenant Colonel John McRae came out during the First World War. It was adopted as Canada’s official symbol of remembrance in 1921.

McDonald says one thing you should know about the Royal Canadian Legion Poppy Fund is that none of it goes towards operations of the local branch.

Proceeds from poppy and wreath sales go to a variety of good programs or projects, which must be approved by the local board, and then sent up the chain of command for further approval. McDonald explains funds collected go towards providing assistance to ex-service members and their families, purchasing medical equipment and appliances for community health facilities, providing bursaries for qualifying students who are in need of financial assistance and support cadets in the community.

The term veteran is also something people may not know the full meaning of.

A veteran is any person who is serving or who has honourably served in the Canadian Armed Forces, or the equivalent in the Commonwealth or its wartime allies, or is a member of the RCMP, says McDonald. She also says it applies to peace officers, merchant navy or ferry command members who also worked during wartime.

On Remembrance Day the Slave Lake Legion will be holding a ceremony starting at approximately 10:55 a.m. with the laying on wreaths at the cenotaph. It continues by marching over to E.G. Wahlstrom Elementary School for the remainder of the ceremony. In the afternoon until dusk (5:00 p.m.) the Legion will be holding an open mic music jam, followed by the ringing of 100 bells to recognize this Remembrance Day is 100 years since the end of the First World War.

This year the Legion would like to invite schools, students, families and veterans to come out on to the cemetery on Saturday, November 10 at 3:30 p.m. to help lay wreaths and flags on the graves of veterans who have passed on.

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