Significantly, this year marks the 100th anniversary of the Remembrance Poppy in Canada
The poppy celebrates 100 years as a symbol in honouring war veterans
By Brandon Yip, Senior Columnist
Remembrance Day in the Lower Mainland will be altered once again due to the pandemic. The Tri-City News reported on October 30 that no public events will be held at cenotaphs in Port Moody, Port Coquitlam and Coquitlam. Although, there will be special ceremonies held for veterans at local legions (invitation-only events). As well, commemorative wreaths will be placed at local monuments.
But people can honour veterans in several ways. The public can purchase a poppy at a local retailer or online at mypoppy.ca. Proceeds from the poppies go to support veterans, education, and other programs. In addition, on Thursday, November 11 at 11 am, citizens are encouraged to observe two minutes of silence wherever they are. As well, the public can watch a Canadian Remembrance Day event, beginning at approximately 10:45 am. The ceremony will be aired live at the National War Memorial and can be viewed on national television stations. The Royal Canadian Legion’s Facebook Page will be live streaming the ceremonies.
Douglas College students at the New Westminster campus have the opportunity to honour veterans on Remembrance Day. The New Westminster Record reported on November 1 several events will be occurring in the city. On November 11, the public can partake in a self-guided walking tour of WWI veterans’ homes in the Queen’s Park neighbourhood. The event is presented by Heritage New West and begins at 10 am and ends at 5 pm. However, if there is rainfall, the signs outside each home as part of the tour—will not be placed. A notice about the event stated, “Interpretive posters telling their stories were created by New Westminster’s Heritage Preservation Society and researched and written by local historian Jim Wolf. Museum staff will place these posters along the street outside each of the homes listed on the map for people to explore at their own pace.”
Significantly, this year marks the 100th anniversary of the Remembrance Poppy in Canada. According to the City of New Westminster website, the origins of the poppy were made famous in John McCrae’s war poem, “In Flanders Fields.” In 1921, it helped inspire Madame Anna Guérin to distribute the poppy on Armistice Day as an attempt to raise money for war veterans. Additionally, the poppy was used as a symbol to remember the lives lost during WWI. In July 1921, the Great War Veterans Association approved the poppy as the Flower of Remembrance. And this tradition of Remembrance has been upheld ever since. In 1925, the GWVA united with other veteran groups to establish the Canadian Legion.
Other Remembrance Day events (courtesy of the Tri-City News)
1) Paint a poppy
This event started November 1 at Blue Mountain Park in Coquitlam (corner of King Albert Avenue and Veterans Way). People attending can paint a poppy with supplied materials. Or as an alternative, messages may be sent by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tuesday, November 9 from 9:30 to 11:30 am (Coquitlam city hall)
Wednesday, November 10 from 1 to 4 pm
2) Watch a documentary
People who enjoy documentaries can go to Port Moody on Friday, November 12. The Port Moody Film Society is having a special screening of Peter Jackson’s WWI documentary, They Shall Not Grow Old, at the Inlet Theatre in Port Moody (100 Newport Drive). The film starts at 7:30 pm; with ticket sales beginning at 6:45 pm. But to view the movie, people must have a $5 membership. Tickets are priced at $5 each (cash or cheque only). However, there is limited seated (50 percent capacity)—with tickets being sold on a first-come-first-served basis. For more details, go to pmfilm.ca.