A flower, a poem, a cam­paign

The Compass - - P2012ORTHTE -

Re­mem­brance Day on Novem­ber 11 com­mem­o­rates the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of the year 1918. This is when the Ar­mistice was signed and is also the date mark­ing the of­fi­cial end of the First World War. To com­mem­o­rate this day, you are in­vited to par­tic­i­pate in the an­nual Poppy Cam­paign, the Royal Cana­dian Le­gion’s main source of fundrais­ing, which al­lows this or­ga­ni­za­tion to continue its work with vet­er­ans in need.

Nowa­days, Re­mem­brance Day in­cludes all wars that have oc­curred since the Great War. In­deed, there has not been a sin­gle day since 1918 that has not been marked by a war or armed con­flict some­where on this planet. So, to put an end to all wars, peo­ple across the coun­try wear pop­pies in their lapels and dec­o­rate war me­mo­ri­als with wreaths and bunches of pop­pies on Novem­ber 11.

Why pop­pies? Be­cause this red flower re­calls the fa­mous poem “In Flan­ders Fields”, writ­ten by Lieu­tenant Colonel John McCrae dur­ing the First World War. This is the most fre­quently read and quoted poem about war. It is the men­tion of pop­pies in the first and last verses that has turned this flower into an em­blem of re­mem­brance and a sym­bol of new growth in the dev­as­ta­tion left by war.

We must all re­mem­ber the ter­ri­ble toll wrought by the First World War: the death of 16.5 mil­lion peo­ple, in­clud­ing 9.7 mil­lion mil­i­tary per­son­nel. The Sec­ond World War, the blood­i­est con­flict in our his­tory, saw the deaths of 60 mil­lion souls, one third of which were mil­i­tary per­son­nel.

Please visit www.vet­er­ans.gc.ca for more in­for­ma­tion about the Re­mem­brance Day cam­paign.

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