Poppy campaign kicks off today
TRURO - With each poppy Flo Morrison passes out, a memory of wartime flashes before her.
"Ever since I was a kid the poppy and Flanders Fields stuck in my mind because my dad was in the First World War," said Morrison, a member of the Royal Canadian Legion ladies auxiliary, Truro branch, and co-chairperson of the legion's poppy committee.
"I relive things dad told me when I give out poppies ... like dad hating mustard gas because he got gassed and landed in a France hospital," she said.
Today marks the first day of the legion's annual poppy campaign, in which legion members, volunteers and even some army and sea cadets will pass out poppies to the public for a donation. The campaign ends Nov. 10.
"Last year's sales was the best year ever, maybe because of local men who were killed in Afghanistan over the last few years," said Morrison.
Murray Dawson, the legion's first vice-president and co-chairperson of the poppy committee, said more than 17,000 poppies were distributed within Truro and Bible Hill last year.
"There's been a steady progression of more people (wearing) a poppy. People are more aware and a lot of young people are in wars again," reasoned Dawson.
"A lot of younger parents are really encouraging their children to get a poppy ... they seem to take a lot of interest. It means 20 years from now they'll remember," said Dawson, whose uncle was in the Second World War.
Funds raised from the poppy campaign support veterans and their dependents and locally, 10 scholarships are handed out to dependents of veterans yearly.
There are 11 locations poppies will be offered: Atlantic Superstore, Sobeys on Prince and Robie streets, Canadian Tire, Wal-Mart, Nova Scotia Liquor Commission on Elm and Robie streets and Pictou Road, Price Choppers, Cavanaghs and Truro Mall.
Legion members will also be visiting schools and nursing homes with a Remembrance Day program leading up to Nov. 11.