Through the simple gesture of pinning a poppy on Mayor Maja Tait and Juan de Fuca Electoral Area director Mike Hicks on Friday, the Royal Canadian Legion signalled the launch of the annual poppy campaign in Sooke.
The poppy is Canada’s official symbol of remembrance. Poppies are typically worn in the two-week lead-up to Remembrance Day on Nov. 11.
The money raised from the poppy campaign helps veterans in need and community groups, Murray Lambert, poppy chairman for the Royal Canadian Legion, said.
“The better awareness we can get in our community, the remembrance of why we do it, helps the Legion help veterans year-round,” Lambert said.
Volunteers are still needed to fill two-hour tagging shifts at various store locations. Sign-up sheets are available at the legion.
Regular poppy donation boxes have been distributed to schools and businesses in Sooke.
Canadians can also donate to the campaign at mypoppy.ca, where they can create a digital poppy, add a customized commemoration to a veteran and share it on social media.
In addition to the poppy campaign, the Sooke legion is hosting a veterans’ luncheon on Nov. 2 and the traditional parade and remembrance service on Nov. 11 at the cenotaph.
“It’s essential to pause and remember those who fought and those still fighting for democracy. All of this gives us the freedom we sometimes take for granted,” Tait said.