I could never identify exactly what so moved me on November 11th, but I could always anticipate that I would need Kleenex up my sleeve cuff... if I was heading to the cenotaph. My patriotism is never more evident than it is on Remembrance Day.... Perhaps my emotional response to the poppy is because of my heart's immediate connection to memories of my Nan and Pop.
Gail Shotlander via Getty Images
Taking this time to reflect on the dedication of our armed forces is not the same as blindly supporting war. Remembrance Day is really about being present to the experiences of those who sacrificed their mental and emotional well-being in the name of our country. It's about expressing gratitude to those who gave up their dreams so that the rest of us can pursue ours. After all, while the poppy historically symbolizes the blood of fallen soldiers, it also represents a flower that was able to grow in land too infertile for much else; transforming from a mere community of poppy seeds while simultaneously converting the land into fertile and beautiful possibility.
Remembrance Day has turned into something that I don't like, and I can't wear a symbol that's representative of a government that has fought neocolonial wars that I simply don't agree with. If the government is so adamant that we respect veterans, they could, perhaps, respect veterans by giving them greater access to mental health resources for when they come back home riddled with PTSD. Our government has its citizens to go fight in pointless wars, then makes up for it by throwing big displays of poppies and hundreds of renditions of Flanders Field.
Two years ago, a great man died at the very impressive age of 97 (and a half). He is remembered and missed for the love, strength and support that he gave his family and friends, for the many great contributions to the Canadian mining industry during his long life, and also for his service in the Royal Canadian Navy during World War II.
To avoid making a faux-pas, while honouring our family, community and country heroes, those who courageously give us the freedom to be proud of our heritage; here are the facts, dos and don'ts of Remembrance Day.
The best place to start your family history journey is with information you already have: write down what you know and talk to family members. Create an online family tree: Begin with yourself and add your parents and grandparents. Record each person's name, birthplace, birth date, death place and death date. If you don't know the exact information, take your best guess.
I choose to wear the poppy for a different reason. I choose to wear it because as a woman with Native ancestry, I want to remember those whose faces we never see in the Heritage moments or on the Remembrance Day TV spots. While we remember the many veterans who fought in the many wars Canada has been involved in, the iconic images of these veterans are whitewashed.
The 11th was named Remembrance Day for a reason. The name was chosen to remind Canadians that we must remember the sacrifices our Veterans make for us. It was also named to remind us to remember the obligations we have to those who serve -- an obligation our Government is working hard to deny. Currently, a group of Veterans are suing Canada for failing them. Remembrance Day is more than saying "We Will Remember Them" -- You actually need to do it.
Every year, millions of Canadians take part in this campaign by attaching the poppy to their clothes. I do not wear the poppy, or donate to the RCL, because I believe that this campaign glorifies war instead of calling for peace. I believe that it is of the utmost importance to remember past wars and the soldiers who took part in them, but I remember these things quite a bit differently than how the RCL would like you to remember them.
A campaign to hand out white poppy pins is "an offensive attempt to politicize Remembrance Day," says Veterans Affairs Minister Julian Fantino. Fantino, an MP for the Ontario riding of Vaug...
My main reason for abstaining from wearing a Remembrance poppy is that I'm starting to feel like it represents a support for all of my country's military action, not just the sacrifices made by soldiers in past wars. It's as if by wearing it I'm giving my tacit agreement to Canada's activities in Afghanistan, or the ways that women are mistreated in the Canadian Forces. The truth is, though, that I don't want our military engaged in any kind of action; I don't want to feel like I have the blood of civilians (or, well, anybody) on my hands. I also feel deeply uncomfortable about a number of things that happen within military culture.
KAMLOOPS, B.C. - One of two dollar stores in Kamloops, B.C., that at first refused to sell poppies on behalf of the Royal Canadian Legion has reversed its position.The president of the Army, Navy & Ai...
Nicholas Moorhouse, 34, appeared in court on Saturday charged with a string of poppy box thefts in Toronto this week. Toronto police allege Moorhouse swiped three poppy boxes from different Tim Horto...
The red poppy worn in the weeks leading up to Remembrance Day has become so normalized that it's simply something that we wear. We leave them on our sun visors in our cars. We lose them. We buy others. We say we remember but we don't do what's next to turn our remembrance into action.
As the Canadian government has demonstrated its support for foreign wars, the symbol of the poppy has been hijacked. While it remains a symbol of peace and remembrance for many, it has also become a symbol of support of Canada's current war ambitions.