Royal Canadian Legion Recognizes 100 Years of the Poppy for Remembrance

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The Royal Canadian Legion's Virtual Poppy Drop on Parliament Hill (CNW Group/The Royal Canadian Legion Dominion Command)
The Royal Canadian Legion's Virtual Poppy Drop on Parliament Hill (CNW Group/The Royal Canadian Legion Dominion Command)

The 100th anniversary of the Poppy as the country’s symbol of Remembrance was the theme of Canada’s National Remembrance Day Ceremony in Ottawa. The gathering with all its traditional elements took place under a bright yet chilly sky. The yearly solemn commemoration honours all men and women who have given their lives in the service of this country.

Pandemic precautions restricted the number of participants once again this year, however due to recent changes to crowd restrictions in Ontario and Ottawa, spectators were welcome to attend. All who were present paid tribute accompanied by prayers, special music, a 21-gun salute, and a fly-past by CF-18 Hornet aircraft. The annual ceremony organized by The Royal Canadian Legion ensures the country never forgets our fallen Veterans.

“We may sometimes take our freedoms for granted,” said Dominion President Bruce Julian. “However, we must always remember how fortunate we are, and hold our Veterans in our hearts not only on November 11, but throughout the year.”

Mme. Josée Simard, this year’s National Silver Cross Mother laid a wreath on behalf of all military mothers who have lost children in service to their country. Her daughter, Canadian Army Corporal Karine Blais, died in 2009 when the vehicle she was in, hit a roadside bomb near Kandahar, Afghanistan.

Members of the Vice-Regal Party laid a wreath at the base of the National War Memorial. They included Canada’s Governor-General Her Excellency the Right Honourable Mary May Simon; Canada’s Prime Minister, the Right Honourable Justin Trudeau; the Minister of Veterans Affairs Canada, the Honourable Lawrence MacAulay; Acting Chief of the Defence Staff General Wayne Eyre; the Speaker of the Senate of Canada, The Honourable George Fury, and the Speaker of the House of Commons of Canada, the Honourable Anthony Rota. Remembrance-themed poster and literary contest artists Ryan McCardle and Louise McCrow laid a wreath on behalf of the youth of Canada. The Legion’s Dominion President and representatives of Veteran organizations also paid tribute in this way.

Groups and individuals took time to place their poppies on the tomb of the Unknown Soldier after the official ceremony – a symbolic act that has become an ongoing tradition.

On November 11 over 117,000 animated poppies – each representing one of Canada’s Fallen – will once again cascade on the Peace Tower on Parliament Hill, and the Poppy Drop will appear on the Senate building and the National Arts Centre’s glass tower for a final evening, until midnight.

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 close to 250,000 members, many of whom volunteer an extraordinary amount of time to their branches, our strength is in our numbers.