Proud to pin on a poppy

Vernon-Monashee MLA Eric Foster shares poppy pride

Besides dropping temperatures, there are a lot of ways to notice the changing season.

As October turns toward November, leaves start to fall, Canadian football wraps up its season, and the Vernon Vipers gear up towards challenging for a seventh national championship.

But perhaps the most significant and heartwarming sign of the season is the thousands of poppies worn proudly on Canadians’ chests – appropriately enough, right over the heart.

While poppies for Remembrance Day have become a worldwide phenomenon, it’s worth remembering their Canadian origins. The poem, In Flanders Fields, was written by Lt.-Col. John McCrae, a field surgeon during the First World War.

His words, “if we break faith with us who die we shall not sleep, though poppies grow in Flanders Fields,” are just as poignant and haunting today as they were in 1915 – more so, considering McCrae also lost his life during the war.

In recent years, some have objected to wearing poppies. While I sympathize with sadness over seeing young Canadians still giving their lives in places like Afghanistan, I think that makes wearing a poppy even more relevant.

The poppies you see on chests and for sale around town are provided by the Royal Canadian Legion.

There are two legion branches in Vernon-Monashee – branch 25 in Vernon, and branch 167 in Lumby. In both communities, and indeed towns and cities across Canada, the legion is an invaluable contributor and cornerstone.

In B.C., the Royal Canadian Legion is the largest non-profit provider of veteran /seniors housing with more than 4,500 units in 70 facilities, a community investment of approximately $94 million.

It volunteers more than 600,000 hours, and raises hundreds of thousands of dollars for causes as diverse as bursaries and medical research.

Over the years, both local branches have donated countless thousands of dollars to various causes and community organizations – and not just veterans. Legion funds also help secondary schools, disadvantaged youth and the disabled.

Perhaps just as important, the Legion provides invaluable support for our veterans.

Besides creating a community of support and network of friends for veterans, it also sponsors causes like the veterans transition program, a counseling and trauma repair course; and Honour House which provides temporary complimentary accommodation for Canadian Forces members, veterans and first responders requiring medical treatment in Vancouver.

Wearing a poppy doesn’t mean you’re pro-war, if there is such a thing. I don’t think anyone is pro-war.

Wearing a poppy signifies your support of the men and women of our current armed forces, but also your gratitude for the veterans who risked – and all too often, gave – their lives for their country.

Wearing a poppy may be a small gesture, granted. But if you don’t think veterans appreciate that gesture, just ask one. They do.

I’d say that’s worth wearing a poppy.

Visit Eric’s website at www.ericfostermla.bc.ca

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Vernon’s History in Pictures

Legendary Vernon hockey player Larry Kwong was fast off the ice as well

Vernon musician streams live performance

Brandon Schmor is latest in QUSIC’s LGBT2Q+ Artist Music Series this Wednesday, Aug. 5, from Kelowna

Vernon trail gets new connection

Connection links the Coldstream Valley Estates and Boss Creek trail segments on Vernon Hill

Tributes aplenty for Vernon realtor, Rotarian

Dave DeShane died suddenly at age 55 on Tuesday, July 28

Sternwheelers once plied Okanagan Lake

Vessels once transported passengers and goods along the Okanagan Valley

VIDEO: Otter pups learn to swim at B.C. wildlife rescue facility

Watch Critter Care’s Nathan Wagstaffe help seven young otters go for their first dip

Police watchdog investigates Kamloops RCMP after stabbing death

The IIO is investigating the police’s lack of success in locating the man charged in stabbing

Forty-three properties near Dry Lake, along Highway 5A, under evacuation alert

Wildfire has been burning out of control north of Princeton for two days

Wildfire near Merritt creates smoke for drivers on Coquihalla

Coldwater River fire was estimated at seven hectares Aug. 3 and classified as out of control

Thompson Okanagan Tourist Association: Who can’t access your business?

TOTA launches video to encourage proprietors to remove barriers

Shuswap pet nutritionist, raw diet advocate to be featured in national magazine

Sicamous-based Deanna Larocque building reputation for canine support

BC RCMP notify IIO BC of incident involving police dog in Kelowna

A suspect and a police dog were taken to receive medical treatment after an incident on Aug. 1.

Alberta man presumed to have drowned after cliff jumping in Peachland

Emergency responders began rescue efforts at around 2:40 p.m. on Aug. 1.

Most Read