As the calendars get ready to flip to November, the time to remember and honor our veterans is coming up. Every year, communities across Canada participate in the Poppy Campaign as a way to support and remember the troops, and the Strathmore Royal Legion is preparing to send the poppies out tomorrow.
Chair of the poppy board Jenny Schumann explained they'll be sending them to businesses all across Strathmore, Langdon, and Rockyford. They are still looking for volunteers to help with the deliveries, so any help would be greatly appreciated. They're doing the deliveries tomorrow, but the poppies won't be put out until Friday, October 28, since Schumann explained the poppies always go out on the last Friday of October every year.
Most people wear the poppies from November 1 to 11, but Schumann said some wear it year-round, and it's not disrespectful to continue wearing the poppy after Remembrance Day
"A lot of people wear the poppies year round for their own personal reasons, some veterans, someone who lost their child or somebody they know, it's just a sign of respect. But for the most part, the wearing of the poppy begins on October 28 this year until November 11," she said.
"The poppy has special meaning for everyone, so it's a personal choice (to wear it beyond Remembrance Day). The general, unwritten rule is November 11 for the last day of wearing the poppy."
All the money donated to the poppy fund goes to the poppy account, which is a public account. From there, the money is used to help veterans in many ways.
"We help veterans with wheelchairs, walkers, and breathing machines. We help some veterans with the handi-bus ride into Calgary if they need help with that. Parking passes are available to all veterans."
She added you don't have to be a member of the Legion to receive these supports, you only have to be a veteran. As for the wearing of the poppy itself, Schumann said it's a very important way to show public support and remember the sacrifices made to protect our country.
"Wearing the poppy, it shows your support. We (the Legion and Poppy Board) support our veterans year-round. For a lot of people, this month and a half that we're campaigning with the wreath and the poppy, it just puts it out there to the public so that they never ever forget. These veterans and soldiers who passed away in the previous conflicts and conflicts now, we can't forget them. They paid the ultimate sacrifice and we cannot forget them."
She added she is grateful for the strong support shown every year and hopes the community once again comes out to support them.
"I'd like to thank the community and Wheatland County in advance for their support of the poppy campaign. Every time you put a coin in the box, it is to help the veterans and their families in whatever way we can."
The Legion also said they will be holding their Remembrance Day ceremony on November 11 at 11:00 am. Free chili and a bun will be available after the ceremony to anybody who would like attend after the ceremony.