As many know, August 4th marks the 100th anniversary of the start of World War I. Canada’s participation in the First World War shaped the country and Canadian identity. More than 650,000 Canadians and Newfoundlanders served in the First World War, with more than 66,000 of them losing their lives. While traditionally, the Legion does not commemorate the start of conflicts, in recognizing the significance of this historic milestone, we are offering some suggestions for ways you can commemorate and Remember.
First Place winning colour poster, Intermediate Category, Remembrance Poster Contest by Mary Mao, Coquitlam, BC
- Many local Legions are participating in Remembrance ceremonies in their communities. Check with your Legion Branch6 to see if there are Remembrance activities planned near you.
- Light a candle in Remembrance – On August 4th, after the sun has set, turn off all the lights in your home and light a single candle in honour and Remembrance. For a memorable keepsake of the day, you may wish to purchase a special Tribute Candle7 from the Legion’s Poppy Store. Proceeds from each candle go to support Canada’s Veterans and the essential services the Legion offers in communities across Canada. Purchase by July 21 to receive it by August 4.
- Take a moment of silence to reflect and Remember, whether at a ceremony in your community, in your school, in your workplace, in your home, or in your heart.
- If no events are planned in your area, take a moment of reflection at a local war memorial.
- Plant Poppy seeds in your garden as a reminder of Canada’s fallen heroes. The Poppy grew as a symbol of Remembrance in Canada from Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae’s now famous poem, “In Flanders Fields” written in May, 1915 on the day following the death of a fellow soldier. The Poppy is a visual pledge to never forget the more than 117,000 Canadians who made the ultimate sacrifice to protect our freedoms. You may purchase Poppy seeds8 from the Legion’s Poppy Store.
- Research online or at your local library or museum to learn more about WWI and the service and sacrifice of our Canadian and Allied Forces. Start with these links online
- Visit your local Legion Branch12 and make a donation to the Poppy Fund in honour of our fallen. Continue your support of today’s Veterans and their families by joining the Legion13. Your membership supports the programs and services the Legion provides to all Veterans.
How you choose to show your respect and gratitude is a personal choice. What is important is that we, as Canadians, Remember the deeds and sacrifices of our fallen and those who have served and continue to serve our country… and that we promise to never forget.
Commemorating Canada’s fallen soldiers with a Poppy on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.