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Every year, in the early days of November, Canadians wear poppies to honour and remember the fallen.
Though poppies were observed on graves of soldiers and in fields as early as the 19th century, the poppy has stood as a symbol of remembrance since 1921, when it was adopted by the Great War Veterans’ Association. In 1925, the Canadian Legion was formed and the group carried on the tradition, with poppies gracing the left lapels and collars of Canadians every November.
Why the poppy emerged as this symbol some 100 years after the red and black flower was first noted in European fields and cemeteries was in large part due to the work of John McCrae. His poem “In Flanders Fields,” was written in 1915 during the First World War, the day after his close friend was killed in battle. His friend was buried in a makeshift grave, where wild poppies grew between wooden crosses.
Today, donations made to the Royal Canadian Legion’s poppy campaign support services for Canadian veterans and their families. The Legion estimates that this year, 18 million poppies will be distributed across Canada and overseas.
Poppies are worn across the country, but the reasons you wear one may be personal and unique — a national symbol that means something different to everyone who dons it. For some, it’s to remember those lost in war a century ago. For others, it’s to honour the men and women still working today to serve and protect at home and overseas.
This Remembrance Day, we want to hear your stories. Why do you wear a poppy? What does the poppy and Remembrance Day mean to you?
Share your stories by filling out the form below, or tweet us @globalnews to share your #PoppyStory.