Un­der­stand­ing the poppy

The Casket - - Local - CON­TRIB­UTED com­mu­ni­ties@her­ald.ca

It’s a sym­bol known in­ter­na­tion­ally as remembrance for those fallen. But it’s more than a pin peo­ple at­tach to their lapels for a hand­ful of weeks each year.

As the story goes, to poppy was first in­tro­duced to Canada and the Com­mon­welth by Lt.-col. John Mccrae, a Guelph, Ont. Na­tive and Cana­dian med­i­cal of­fi­cer dur­ing the First World


Mccrae is known for his fa­mous poem "In Flan­ders Fields," which he wrote in May 1915 on a scrap of pa­per, fol­low­ing the death of a fel­low soldier.

Mccrae’s 13-line poem was pub­lished in "Punch Mag­a­zine" in De­cem­ber of that year, and later served as in­spi­ra­tion three years later to Moina Michael, an Amer­i­can teacher.

A which point, Michael made a pledge to al­ways wear a poppy as a sign on remembrance.

Then in 1920, a French woman named Madam Guerin, while on a trip to the U.S. learned of the cus­tom.

She de­cided to sell pop­pies as a fundraiser for children in wartorn ar­eas of France.

On July 5, 1921, the GWVA in Canada adopted the poppy as its Flower of Remembrance.

The poppy is still worn to­day, as a sym­bol of remembrance for fallen vet­er­ans. The cam­paign also acts as a ma­jor fundraiser for the le­gions across the coun­try, which of­ten act as main dis­tributers of the red flower.

Richard Macken­zie

Mu­nic­i­pal­ity of the County of Antigo­nish War­den Owen Mccar­ron (right) af­ter re­ceiv­ing a poppy from Royal Cana­dian Le­gion Ar­ras Branch 59 poppy cam­paign chair John P. Maceach­ern.

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