Veterans launch their annual Remembrance Day poppy campaign, they hope there won't be a repeat of last year's thefts of poppy cans.

Hundreds showed up at the Confederation Building in St. John's Friday for the annual remembrance flag raising ceremony, including sixth-grader Nick Coady.

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Sixth-grader Nick Coady says it's important to remember soldiers who served for Canada. (CBC)

"I think the poppy is a great way to remember those people who went off to war and would never come back," said Coady, "[because] the poppy grew on the battlefields where they fought."

Sadly, not everyone sees things his way.

Last year, dozens of poppy donation cans were stolen from stores in the St. John's area.

At least three people were charged for the thefts, and one man was eventually sentenced to two years in prison for taking 10 of those cans from stores.

"It's unfortunate because you are really stealing from veterans," said Legionnaire Gary Brown.

"Poppy donations — that usually raise about a million dollars each year — pay for services for veterans and their dependents."

But Brown said he doesn't want to focus on that during this year's fundraising drive.

"There are people who will do things, but we are not going to emphasize the negatives about the poppy campaign," said Brown. Lt.-Gov. John Crosbie was given Newfoundland and Labrador's first poppy of 2012.

He says it's an important symbol for people in this province.

"Newfoundlanders, generally speaking, are very patriotic and supportive of the legion and our war veterans."

Veterans attending said they hope the children who took part will bring their children to similar events for decades to come.