The Maritime poppy campaign is well underway, but some veterans feel the meaning behind Remembrance Day is getting lost with the pre-Christmas rush.
Moncton resident Gerald Poirier agrees. Every year at this time he gets a poppy pinned over his heart in honour of his father.
“My father was a second world war veteran,” he said.
Poirier feels it’s wrong that some retailers put out their Christmas decorations and stock before Remembrance Day.
“A lack of respect, that is what I feel it is.”
Out of respect to veterans, he said retailers should hold off on Christmas commercialism to honour those who fought for our freedom.
The chairman of Moncton’s poppy campaign and member of Moncton’s Royal Canadian Legion Branch, Gislain LaPierre, said the legions have no control over retailers’ marketing choices.
“I wouldn’t call it disrespect, but in the past it’s always been after Remembrance Day. But times have changed.”
He said in the end, it could be a good thing for poppy sales because early Christmas sales get people out and about.
“It does help a lot because we get exposure and there is a lot of traffic in the mall.”
He said donations have been steadily climbing in the last few years.
Last year $17 million from the poppy fund was distributed across Canada to help veterans and their families.