Saturday, November 10, 2012

Remembrance

poppy-1From the last Friday in October, through to Remembrance Day on November 11, Canadians traditionally wear red poppies on our left lapel, pinned as close to the heart as possible. We wear them to remember those who gave their lives in past and present conflicts.

This practice was inspired by Canadian Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae's poem In Flanders Field. The poppies, which are offered by the Royal Canadian Legion each year, are available on street corners, in storefronts and at federal buildings such as banks and post offices for a voluntary donation. The funds earned provide assistance to past servicemen and women in financial distress, and for medical-related services.

Another touching, fairly new (since 2000) tradition takes place in Ottawa after the ceremonies and wreath-laying has occurred. Veterans and civilians alike remove their poppies after the service, and lay them on top of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. It's a very moving gesture and sight.

On Sunday, at the eleventh hour, with red poppies pinned close to our hearts, Canadians across our nation will share two silent minutes of reflection and respect to remember those who served our country.

Two minutes for those whose hearts ceased beating far too soon.

Two minutes for countless, selfless acts of courage given in exchange for our freedom.

Two minutes for indescribable sacrifice.

It's an honour and a privilege for Canadians to pause to remember and respect those who serve.

At the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, please pause to honour those who have given their lives so that we can enjoy the freedom we assume as our right.

May we never forget

39 comments:

Stephen Hayes said...

Lovely post. I learned some things here.

Nadezda said...

Hilary,
I did not know about this Canadian tradition to wear red poppies on Remembrance day. Thank you for sharing!
We have tradition of one silence minute in Remembrance of thousand of citizens who died during four years blockade of Saint Petersburg (1941-1944).

SueAnn Lommler said...


Thank you for sharing...so moving.

Hugs
SueAnn

Betty Manousos said...

very touching post, dear hilary.

and so beautifully written.

that video doesn't seem to work though:(


big hugs~

ADRIAN said...

I will and a grand tribute Hilary...Just so sad it's necessary.

Brian Miller said...

i would hope we never forget as we reach forward to days of peace where we can truly lay those arms down....thankful for those that have gave all for us...

CorvusCorax12 said...

Lest We Forget

DJan said...

Thank you for this thoughtful and moving post. I knew about the poppies but not about the Unknown Soldier wreath laying. I might try to find a picture of it.

Anvilcloud said...

I didn't know about that part of the ceremony it Ottawa. Touching.

TexWisGirl said...

truly touching, hilary. i remember as a child in wisconsin, my parents would buy poppies for veterans' day. that tradition seemed to die out here in the US and i think it is a real shame. a visual reminder of the sacrifices makes a person pause from our busy selfish lives.

i loved this post.

Leah J. Utas said...

Always.

Red said...

Well said!
I also learned something. I didn't know that the poppy was supposed to be pinned on the lapel AND as close the the heart as possible. So all the dudes who have their poppy on their cap are very out of it.

Phyllis Entis said...

Amen

English Rider said...

Remembrance poppies are part of the British tradition too. Even without poppies, there are ceremonies of respect and remembrance all over Europe.

messymimi said...

Too often these quiet moments escape our notice in the noise. Tomorrow at 11am i will stop, also, and remember.

ladyfi said...

We wear red poppies in the UK too.

~JarieLyn~ said...

Very touching. Sounds like a wonderful tradition.

Gail Dixon (Louisiana Belle) said...

What a beautiful tribute with the poppies. God bless the soldiers who uphold our freedoms.

ellen abbott said...

yes, we should remember those who died to preserve our freedom. unfortunately in this country though, wars are fought that have nothing to do with preserving our freedom. too many of our young people have died over because of political greed.

Bob Bushell said...

Nice one Hilary.

Maggie May said...

Its much the same here but I hadn't heard about wearing the poppies close to the heart........ I like that idea a lot.
Maggie x

Nuts in May

Cloudia said...

Very well said - for ALL of us!!!!
My Sunday post is a tribute to some vets you may not know- YET!


Aloha Saturday from Honolulu
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Suldog said...

That silence (although I think it was one minute) and the poppies used to be tradition down in our country, too. Of course, you know, from my feelings concerning what is happening to another November tradition that involves thankfulness, that we now rush to noise without much thought. Shame.

Linda said...

Very well written and a moving reminder to all of us to never forget the sacrifices of those who put themselves between us and those who would do us harm.

yaya said...

Thank you for this thoughtful and moving post. I will remember to honor our veterans tomorrow and wish your country and ours peace and happiness.

Kerry said...

Thank you Hilary. I will do this tomorrow. So little for so much.

We used to wear poppies as a child, but I think it was on May 31, Memorial Day in the US. Veteran's Day, on the 11th of November, is very similar, but also honors the veterans still standing.

SandyCarlson said...

I learned plenty here, too. And I especially appreciate your words knowing that your son is one who serves. People who are willing to put it all on the line for us are amazing.

Michael Manning said...

This is a very moving post, Hilary. In high school Speech class we had to memorize the poem In Flanders Field and recite it in front of the class.

Buttons said...

I will as always honour this tradition as a proud Canadian. Thank you for posting and reminding others.

Liz @ A Nut in a Nutshell said...

That is a very touching way to remember. I like your traditions.

Barbara said...

What beautiful traditions, Hilary. It seems like we've worn poppies here in the US before, but it's not a widespread tradition as it is in Canada. How moving for everyone to lay them on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

Scott said...

This sounds like a truly wonderful tradition. Good for you all.

lime said...

thank you for sharing the way it's done in canada. such quiet dignity you all lend to your remembrances. so befitting.

She Writes said...

What a beautiful tradition.

Rosemary Aubut said...

Wow very interesting post! Poppies are a beautiful tribute!

Daryl said...

amen

CiCi said...

I have seen some red poppies being worn by folks here and it didn't click that when I was a kid everyone wore them. I admire the Canadian way of consistency in honoring the people in service.

Black Jack's Carol said...

Nice to see this post, Hilary! I couldn't imagine a Remembrance Day without the beautiful poppies. I always buy at least two, since they seem to fall off, no matter how I try to make sure they are secure. I attended the ceremony at Victory Square in Vancouver. This is the first year I took off my poppy and laid it at the cenotaph. I guess the tradition began in Ottawa and is now spreading across the country. I like it.

SandyCarlson said...

Never to forget, indeed. And always to respect.