As Remembrance Day approaches this is the time of year when we all pause to remember those who served and continue to serve our country.
It is when we pin on a Poppy in Remembrance of those who have sacrificed past, present and future.
As each year passes we remember important dates in Canadian military history and 2016 is no different, 10 years ago in Afghanistan Operation Medusa took place. A Canadian-led offensive to establish Afghan government control over an area of Kandahar Province centered on the town of Panjwayi some 30 km west of Kandahar city. A tactical victory, however it resulted in the deaths of 12 Canadian soldiers.
Canada has earned a world renowned reputation of punching well above its weight; from the Canadian Corps in the battles of the First World War through to the more recent history and the military operations that the men and women of today’s Canadian Armed Forces have found themselves in.
It is our duty as Canadians to always Remember their sacrifices. We as Canadians must also Remember and uphold our country’s sacred obligation to care for veterans and their dependents throughout their lives, maintaining a quality of life that is worthy of their sacrifices that they have made for Canada.
In Canada, the Poppy has stood as a visual symbol of our Remembrance since 1921. However, its presence over the graves of soldiers, and in the fields of honour, was noted as early as the 19th century after the Napoleonic Wars.
The reason for its adoption over 100 years later in Canada was due to, in no small part, Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae and his now famous poem, “In Flanders Fields”.
The Poppy has stood as a symbol of Remembrance, our visual pledge to never forget those Canadians who have fallen in war and military operations. The Poppy also serves as a symbol of unity for those who recognize the sacrifices that were made for their freedom, and it forges a bond between people of all ages, not only within Canada, but around the world.Funds from the Poppy Campaign are placed in trust to be used for the care and benevolent support of Veterans and their dependants.
Through these Poppy Fund donations, the Legion provides financial assistance to serving and former Canadian Armed Forces members and their dependants who are in need. Grants are available for food, heating costs, clothing, prescription medication, medical appliances and equipment, essential home repairs and emergency shelter or assistance. Comforts for Veterans and their surviving spouses who are hospitalized and in need may also be provided.
A portion of Poppy Funds may also be allocated to promote Remembrance and ensure Canadians never forget the sacrifices of Canada’s Veterans.
The Poppy Campaign will run from Friday October 30 and culminate with the November 11 Remembrance Service at the Cenotaph and Legion Hall. So when you see that uniformed Legion member holding that tray full of Poppies please take one and wear it to Remember those Canadians who have sacrificed and continue to sacrifice their lives for those ideals, which we as Canadians cherish.
Your generosity in giving to the Poppy Campaign is greatly appreciated.
I invite you to the Remembrance service on November 11th at the Cenotaph as well as the activities after the service at Branch 265. On behalf of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 265 our veterans and those who have made the ultimate sacrifice I would like to take the opportunity to thank the people of Aldergrove and our surrounding communities for your continued support and show of respect during this time of year.
-Doug Hadley, President, Royal Canadian Legion, Branch 265, Aldergrove