July 12th, 2024

Poppy flag flies to mark the sacrifice of veterans

By Lethbridge Herald on November 4, 2021.

Officials, dignitaries and guests pay their respects as the poppy flag was raised Thursday at city hall to mark the start of Veterans Week. Herald photo by Ian Martens

Trevor Busch – Lethbridge Herald

To inaugurate Veterans Week and celebrate the Legion’s annual poppy campaign in the spirit of remembrance, dignitaries gathered at city hall for a flag raising on Thursday morning.

At 11 a.m., Legion members, a police contingent, and city officials including Mayor Blaine Hyggen, among others, solemnly witnessed the ascension of the poppy flag in anticipation of Remembrance Day on Nov. 11.

“The poppy flag is very important to the Legion, and to all military and police,” said Michael Cormican, president of the local Legion General Stewart Branch #4. “It’s very, very important from an advertising perspective, to help people know about it. The poppy was developed itself in 1919, and by 1922 it had taken off in Europe to help people remember the horrors of war. And the results of it as well, where many people were incapacitated, missing limbs, shell-shocked, whatever – often times it incapacitated them for life.”

Similar to years past, the local Legion has set a goal of $90,000 to be raised through its annual poppy campaign.

“Last year we surpassed it, and that was in huge part due to an especially large donation from one of our business people in the community, who has since passed away unfortunately,” said Cormican. “So God rest him.”

While the poppies are free, residents can support the Legion by making donations. New this year are QR codes on the boxes which will allow people to donate electronically. A second QR code on the boxes will take people to a video explaining the poppy program.

Veterans are not always what many have in mind as a stereotype when they consider the events surrounding Remembrance Day and what it represents, says Cormican.

“Even nowadays, most people think of a veteran as a guy with grey hair. A veteran can be 20 years old, because they may have already seen action, and be lucky to be a survivor. As they age, often times, because of the noise or the armaments and all of that sort of thing, they can have increased hearing loss more so than the average person, all sorts of things. They may also have depression.”

Cormican stressed that we need to remember the sacrifices that have been made for our freedom, and that wearing a poppy has deep significance and means much more than a simple contribution to the organization.

“To remember our veterans. Our veterans are the people who are lucky enough to live after whatever event it was. It gives us our freedom. Unfortunately wars had to be fought to maintain freedom, and as we all know there are many places still in the world today – we hear it on the news every day, every other day – where war is going on and people’s freedoms are negligible, they’re almost totally controlled. The veteran is the person who sacrificed everything.”

-with files from Ian Martens and Al Beeber

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pursuit diver

The times and places of Remembrance Day ceremonies would have been nice to see in this news item.
There will be a ceremony at the Cenotaph downtown, but no ceremony at the Exhibition Pavilion this year.

Last edited 2 years ago by pursuit diver