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The poppy, a symbol of remembrance

The Story

The poppy is an enduring symbol on Remembrance Day, but the veterans who sell them are mortal. As Canada's war veterans age, fewer are available each year for poppy duty on street corners across the country. It's the only time the Royal Canadian Legion goes directly to public to raise funds. In 1993, the Legion finds additional ways to reach Canadians eager to sport the splash of red on their lapel to thank those who gave their lives for Canada.

Medium: Television
Program: CBC at Six
Broadcast Date: Nov. 10, 1993
Guests: Jim Forbes, William Kondart
Reporter: Jeffrey Kofman
Duration: 2:15

Did You know?

• The lapel poppy convention has truly international origins. Inspired by Canadian physician Lt.-Col. John McCrae's poem In Flanders Fields, an American schoolteacher named Moina Michael initiated the practice of wearing the poppy in 1918 as a reminder of the war dead. Shortly after, a French woman named Ann Guérin expanded the idea, putting the poppy to work as a fundraiser for war relief and veterans' assistance. Lapel poppies made their first appearance in Canada in 1922.

• From the beginning, the red cloth poppies were made by disabled veterans. Until 1996, they were made by "Vetcraft" workshops run by Veterans Affairs Canada in Montreal and Toronto. Once that became no longer practicable, the Royal Canadian Legion took over responsibility for production of poppies.


Lest We Forget: Remembrance Day more