|Poppies at the tomb of the unknown soldier.|
When I was in university, I went through an ambivalent phase when it came to wearing the poppy and Remembrance Day. It wasn't that I didn't honour the service of veterans so much as I wondered how much good came of the campaign as a fund-raiser. Were we financing more monuments to the glory of war?
|Seaman Nelson Bruce, 1940|
The money raised by selling poppies helps the Legion help veterans in need. Many years later, the Legion purchased a lift chair for my father after a major stroke. That chair helped him stay home for a few more years and was a great asset when it went with him to the nursing home. For my father and other veterans, the Legion fills the gap between what is needed and what veterans' benefits and health care provides.
My father has passed on and his chair is helping another veteran somewhere, but I am still a benefactor in the Legion's work.
Poppy money also aids the Navy League, Sea, Air and Army Cadets. These programs keep participating youth active and engaged, as well as encouraging good citizenship, teaching Canadian history, and practical skills -- not unlike Guides and Scouts which I grew up with, but more financially accessible.
|Cadet Sam Bruce-Ireland, 2012|
My father served in the Royal Canadian Navy in World War II. My aunt was in the Auxiliary Territorial Service. My mother was in the Observer Corps. My grandfather was in the Royal Air Force. Kids I knew when I managed a comic book store served in Afghanistan.
So, I wear the poppy to remember. But I stick extra change in the boxes because I know it's going to a good cause.