In a few days we will be celebrating Remembrance Day. Also known as Armistice Day, November 11th marks the day that World War One ended, at 11am on the 11th day of the 11th month, in 1918. While ceremonies do take place at different times during the day, typically two minutes of silence is observed at 11am to remember those who have died while at war.
The most recognizable sign of Remembrance Day is the poppy; a small, pretty red flower that is worn on the lapels of people everywhere. These sweet flowers are worn to commemorate fallen soldiers and honour their sacrifice.
To help you prepare for Remembrance Day I thought it would be nice to share some information that everyone should know about proper poppy protocol. If you don’t have your poppy yet, be on the lookout for the Royal Canadian Legion’s poppy donation boxes that are popping up everywhere.
1) When Should You Wear a Poppy
Poppies are worn during the Remembrance period, which starts on the last Friday in October and runs until end of day on November 11th, when it is removed and placed on a cenotaph or wreath, as a sign of respect. I recently learned that poppies can also be worn at commemorative events during the year, such as a memorial service for veterans or during funeral services for vets or members of the Legion.
2) Where Should You Wear a Poppy
The poppy should be worn over the left breast, near to your heart. It is technically not disrespectful to wear it on another part of your body if you can’t wear it over your heart, but it is the preferred spot.
3) How Should You Wear a Poppy
While opinions differ, even among members of the Legion, it is preferred that the poppy is worn with the pin it comes with, a straight pin that has a little curve to keep it on. I have seen the poppy worn with a small Canadian flag pin being used to keep it secured to the individual’s clothing, which is kind of cool. However, the Legion considers this to be “defacing” the poppy so you are better to use the regular pin and place the Canadian flag one beside it.
4) Types of Poppies You Can Wear
The Royal Canadian Legion sells poppies every year, but there are different types popping up all the time. You can make or purchase a knitted or crocheted version, which are often sold in hospital gift shops as a fund raiser. You can also purchase a version of the poppy that is more jewelry than the temporary kind most people buy each year. The jewelry version is lovely and as long as you wear it with the respect it deserves, you are wearing it well.
5) What the Poppy Money is Used For
While wearing a fancy version of the poppy every year is pretty to look at, one thing to consider before you buy one is why poppies are sold in the first place. The Royal Canadian Legion’s Poppy Fund donations are used to support Canadian veterans and their families, as well as members of the Canadian Armed Forces and RCMP. This includes grants for medication, food, care facilities, housing, and emergency shelter. So you can see why it is important to support the sale of poppies each year. Every dollar helps.
Have you purchased your poppy yet?