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2021 campaign launched in Saskatchewan with 1st poppies handed out

Margaret Schaffer and Tom Jenkins, the niece and nephew of Lance Corporal Morgan Jones Jenkins, received their poppies from Saskatchewan’s lieutenant-governor. File / Global News

The first poppies of the 2021 Poppy Campaign in Saskatchewan were presented on Thursday.

Saskatchewan Lt.-Gov. Russell Mirasty and Donna Mirasty were the first recipients.

Read more: Funding boosted for Saskatchewan veteran clubs

Poppies were in turn presented to Margaret Schaffer and Tom Jenkins, the niece and nephew of Lance Corporal Morgan Jones Jenkins, who was killed in the 1918 Battle of Arras and whose remains were only recently identified.

“The second poppies were given to my family on behalf of my great uncle, whose remains had been found after 103 years following the First World War,” great-niece Michelle Fisher said.

“There wasn’t a whole lot of history on him until we started to really investigate it last January but it was incredible what he did … our family is quite proud of the contributions that he made in that war.

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“He was a British citizen, actually, who had just immigrated to Canada and so didn’t have to go to war for Canada. He could have just stayed in Canada and lived his life, but decided it was important for him to go and to fight for rights and freedoms that we all enjoy today.”

Click to play video: 'Poppy campaign underway as November begins' Poppy campaign underway as November begins
Poppy campaign underway as November begins – Nov 1, 2021

Fisher said Remembrance Day has always been important to her family but this year has some added significance.

“We didn’t know a lot about this uncle. But it really brought home, I think, the wars and the contributions that men and women have made so that we enjoy our rights and freedoms today,” she said.

“I want people to realize … whether you believe in (COVID-19) vaccination, not vaccination, those rights and freedoms that we have to agree or disagree is because of men and women who died and who continue to serve today to protect this country we love.”

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Read more: World’s oldest plumber, veteran, passes away

This year marks a century since the poppy was officially adopted as the national symbol of remembrance for the Canadian veterans who gave their lives during military service around the world.

Starting Friday, poppies will be available to the general public at legions, participating merchants and public venues across the province. Campaign funds support programs for veterans and their families.

Click to play video: 'Poppy’s history as a symbol of remembrance' Poppy’s history as a symbol of remembrance
Poppy’s history as a symbol of remembrance – Nov 11, 2021

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