OTTAWA – The First Poppy of The Royal Canadian Legion’s 2021 National Poppy Campaign was presented today to Her Excellency the Right Honourable Mary May Simon, Governor General and commander-in-chief of Canada. Due to the pandemic, a smaller but equally reverent ceremony was held at Rideau Hall in Ottawa, with several Veterans and Cadets present.
Her Excellency received the First Poppy from the Legion’s Dominion President, Bruce Julian. “Your example will be followed by millions in Canada and abroad,” he said.
The Governor General accepted the symbolic pin, a reflection of her support and commitment to the Legion’s National Poppy Campaign and to our country’s Veterans.
“Receiving the symbolic First Poppy on the 100th anniversary year of the Poppy is both an honour and a privilege,” she said. “I am grateful for the service of the members of the Canadian Armed Forces who have fought for their country during perilous conflicts. May we always remember their courage and their sacrifice. I am also thankful for the work that The Royal Canadian Legion does to help veterans and to promote Remembrance across the country.”
His Excellency Mr. Whit Grant Fraser, husband of the Governor General, also received an inaugural Poppy from Legion Grand President Vice Admiral (Ret’d) Larry Murray, during the intimate ceremony.
“This year, we mark the 100th anniversary of the Poppy as our nation’s symbol of Remembrance,” said Murray. The symbol was first adopted in 1921 by The Great War Veterans’ Association, the precursor to the Legion, and carries deep meaning. “Her Excellency’s acceptance of this special symbol is a revered tradition,” he expressed.
As the country’s symbol of Remembrance, the Poppy represents fallen military and RCMP Veterans, and signifies our ongoing thankfulness for their sacrifices.
Funds donated locally during the National Poppy Campaign are distributed within that community, to help support Veterans and their families, communities, and to promote Remembrance. The Legion’s National Poppy Campaign launches annually on the last Friday in October and will begin on October 29 this year.
About The Royal Canadian Legion
Founded in 1925, the Legion is Canada’s largest Veteran support and community service organization. We are a non-profit organization with a national reach across Canada as well as branches in the U.S. and Europe. With 250,000 members, many of whom volunteer an extraordinary amount of time to their branches, our strength is in our numbers.