British Columbia

Remembrance Day poppy campaign hasn't started, but you can wear the pin

The events of this week have left some Canadians wanting to show their support for those in uniform by wearing Remembrance Day poppies now.

The events of this week have left many Canadians wanting to show their support for those in uniform

Canadians seek out the symbol ahead of Remembrance Day, following the tragic killings of two soldiers in Quebec and Ontario this week 3:14
A man pins a poppy to the Canadian flag as well wishers place flowers and pay their respects to Cpl. Nathan Cirillo outside of the Lieutenant-Colonel John Weir Foote Armoury in Hamilton, Ont. (Peter Power/Canadian Press)

The events of this week have left many Canadians wanting to show their support for those in uniform, and in some cases that includes the desire to wear Remembrance Day poppies now.

Across the country at cenotaphs and monuments, Canadians have been dropping off flowers and leaving notes, expressing grief and sympathy for the loss of the two soldiers killed this week in Quebec and Ontario.

Thousands lined the Highway of Heroes in Ontario Friday to honour Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, who was killed by a gunman in Ottawa on Wednesday, and Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent, who was killed in a targeted hit-and-run in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu on Monday.

There's nothing in the book that says when you start wearing a poppy or when you can wear a poppy.- Jim Howard, Vancouver Poppy Fund

The desire to show solidarity seems to be leading to early requests for another traditional symbol of remembrance — the poppy pin, which is traditionally worn across the country in the days leading up to Remembrance Day.

The B.C. and Yukon Legion told CBC News people have started asking for poppies already because of the week's events, but poppy pins aren't usually available until the last Friday in October.

In fact, the Legion has a bylaw saying it can't launch the annual poppy pin fundraising campaign before that time.

Jim Howard, coordinator and spokesperson for the Vancouver Poppy Fund, said the bylaw can't be changed in time this year, but there are ways around it.

Jim Howard, of the Vancouver Poppy Fund, says he likes the idea of wearing poppies early this year: "Just as a sign of remembrance and a sign of respect for this young fellow that gave it all." (CBC)

"Although we can't market them, we can give them away," he said. "And there's nothing in the book that says when you start wearing a poppy or when you can wear a poppy."

While veterans and volunteers won't be outside stores accepting donations for poppy pins until next Friday, anyone who wants one can pick up a poppy pin for free at any B.C. and Yukon Legion branch right now.

Officials just ask that you donate later, when the campaign is officially underway.


Will you be wearing a poppy early this year?

Tell us about your decision in the comments below, or tweet us at @cbcnewsbc.

With files from the CBC's Stephanie Mercier

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