Why I’ll Wear a Poppy on Remembrance Day

Remembrance Day has been a long standing tradition as the time that we pause to give thanks to veterans and to those who have given their lives in war. The day was dedicated by King George V in 1919 as a day of remembrance for members of the armed forces who were killed during World War I. Last year, Canada’s last World War I veteran, John Babcock, passed away at the ripe age of 109. Yet, our need for remembrance lives on in the veterans of more recent struggles as well as for wars to come.

I’d like to share a story from one of our staff members at CENTURY 21 Canada. She’s never had to experience violence and she’d like to give thanks to those who have given her that...

Why I’ll Wear a Poppy on Remembrance Day

I loved the “When I was young” stories that my grandmother used to tell me. To me, this was my time to indulge in slightly exaggerated stories of courage and adventure. She’d tell me about growing up in the rice fields of China, waking up early to help with chores and to carry water from the nearby river. Born in 1924, my grandmother was but a young girl when World War II started. She didn’t understand war and why people were fighting. She only understood that each time the soldiers came through her village, she had to run to her hiding place and keep quiet or bad things would happen.

Her stories took on new meaning when I accompanied her to her old village on a trip to China. It was the first time she’d been back since leaving during the Cultural Revolution. She led me down the narrow streets where her home used to be. The house isn’t there anymore, but all the memories were written on her face as she retold her stories, tracing each part through the sands and brush.

“In Canada, you’ll never have to experience anything like that. You’ll never have to see what I’ve been through,” she said to me. She’s right. I’m one of the lucky ones who have been sheltered from violence and war.

Thanks to many servicemen and women who have fought and continue to fight, we as Canadians remain free from oppression. So for my grandmother and myself, I’d like to say thank you to all the many soldiers who have fought for our freedoms and values.

This Friday, on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, I stand in two minutes of silence wearing a poppy close to my heart in remembrance.

Lest we forget...


  1. Rick Juliusson 11/11/2011 at 6:26 PM

    I'm thankful for that grarndmother's safety. But right there you seem to missing an important point. We spend this whole day honouring soldiers, yet it was soldiers who were threatening that innocent grandmother. I'll not wear a poppy until it's a symbol for ALL who are killed and harmed by war, not just the soldiers.

    I've written more in my own blog: http://ricksturningpoint.blogspot.com/2011/11/selective-remembrance-day.html

  2. Chris Newald 11/14/2011 at 9:36 AM

    This was a truly wonderful read. I’m often amazed at how people fail to see how much there is to be thankful for. You often hear people complain about traffic delays, financial woes or day-to-day inconveniences as if they were unimaginably important. They fail to realize that having the freedom to think about these things is exactly what soldiers fought and gave their lives for. The frustration of being stuck in traffic is nothing when compared to the fear that other people in the world still have to live with. The bother of being home late to see your family is quite different from the worry about your family’s safety. Remembrance Day is about remembering but it’s also about understanding. The two minutes are a must, but if possible try to show your support by visiting a Remembrance Day ceremony near you. They are definitely worth the time and if you can, take you family with you.

Thank you! Your comment has been submitted and is awaiting approval.

Blog Archives