June 24th, 2024

Legion’s annual Poppy Campaign growing strong


By Alejandra Pulido-Guzman - Lethbridge Herald on October 28, 2022.

Herald photo by Alejandra Pulido-Guzman Glenn Miller, co-chair of communications with the Royal Canadian Legion General Stewart Branch No. 4, along with Mary Insley and her husband John, pin their poppies Thursday at the Legion.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDapulido@lethbridgeherald.com

Lethbridge residents will be able to start donating and grabbing a poppy as early as today when the 2022 Poppy Campaign begins with boxes being distributed to different businesses across the city.

Royal Canadian Legion General Stewart Branch No. 4 communications co-chair, Glenn Miller, told media Thursday their campaign goal remains at $90,000 this year.

“Thanks to the generosity of Canadians we have been able to raise that money in the last couple of years,” said Miller.

He said this year’s Remembrance Day event will see a condensed version of previous years, with less wreaths being laid.

“But we’re happy to have that military presence, that in fact takes place a lot in military communities across Canada not just here in Lethbridge,” said Miller.

He said at 11:00 a.m. elements of the RCAF 429 Squadron will be flying over the cenotaph, and that to have that military connection was special.

“Especially this year which marks their 80th anniversary,” said Miller.

He said the biggest take away from the poppy campaign is raising awareness about what the poppy stands for.

“When I ask, especially when I’m dealing with schools, why do we wear poppies, you’ll get lots of different answers, and somehow three simple words ‘lest we forget’ have been forgotten,” said Miller.

He said it is important to wear a poppy, as it is the symbol of remembrance for the sacrifice of those who paid the ultimate price for freedom on behalf of Canada.

“Every day at 11:00 o’clock in the memorial chamber in Parliament those pages are turned over daily as a reminder of those who sacrificed,” said Miller.

He said poppies are always free, but they accept donations graciously.

“If you go by a poppy box, if you’re not wearing a poppy grab one,” said Miller.

He said poppy boxes this year, like last year, they will display a QR code to make donating more convenient, but this year there is a secondary QR code.

“There’s also a little QR code for ‘My Poppy Memory’. If there’s something that reflects on you personally, in your own experience, you can do that, too, and share your poppy memory,” said Miller.

Poppy boxes are just the beginning. The week of Nov. 4 to Nov. 11 has been declared as Veterans Week, and residents will be able to take part in a multitude of events to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

On Nov. 4 the poppy flag will be raised in front of City Hall at 11:00 a.m. There will also be a banner in front of the cenotaph, indicating the area on 4 Avenue between Stafford Drive and 11th Street South, is temporarily be named Veterans Avenue. This will continue on an annual basis.

“Also on the 4th at 3:30 p.m. at the Galt Museum, I will be talking about Indigenous veterans as a guest speaker for the Galt Museum and Archives, which I normally do something every year during Veterans Week,” said Miller.

On Nov. 9 the Lethbridge Hurricanes will host a military appreciation night.

“When you look at the Stanley Cup version of their league, the Memorial Cup, there’s military connection,” said Miller.

The Remembrance Service at the Lethbridge and District Exhibition in the South Pavilion will be once again in person starting at 10:30 a.m. Representing the local bereaved family will be the parents of Private Mark Anthony Graham, who died on Sept. 4, 2006, in Kandahar, Afghanistan.

The Lethbridge Military Museum is scheduled to be open on Remembrance Day from noon to 4pm. Masks will be required to enter and while visiting.

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