The Poppy

The Gulf News (Port aux Basques) - - Editorial - Source: FROM le­gion.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, the poppy was first in­tro­duced to Canada and the Com­mon­welth by Lt.-Col. John McCrae, a Guelph, On­tario Na­tive and Cana­dian med­i­cal of­fi­cer dur­ing the First World War.

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.

At 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 war-torn 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 Royal Cana­dian Le­gions across the coun­try, which of­ten act as main dis­tributers of the red flower.

PHOTO COUR­TESY OF FRANK GO­GOS

The poppy, a sym­bol of re­mem­brance.

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