Poppy wearing protocol -- Do's and Don'ts.
This time has arrived once again, to honour our veterans, serving military members, and their families with annual Remembrance Day ceremonies set to go across Canada from St. John’s to Victoria.
Cities, and towns large and small in our region will hold ceremonies at their respective cenotaphs at the 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month.
Of course, one of the key traditions of this special time, is for Canadians to wear poppies, as their small way of recognizing and honouring the sacrifices and commitments that our soldiers have made for our freedom. Following, is a guideline for Poppy-wearing protocol, and a few things to keep in mind.
- Where and when to wear your poppy. ?
– Poppies aren’t just for the traditional Remembrance Day period, which runs from the last Friday in October to the end of the day on Nov. 11. It is also respectful to wear them at other times of the year, including ceremonies to honour veterans, such as funerals. Your poppy should be worn on your left lapel, as close to your heart as possible.
2. Who should wear a poppy. ?
-Anyone who wants to honour a veteran, should feel free to wear a poppy. The Canadian Legion notes that 117,000 Canadians gave their lives for our freedom over several wars and conflicts. Therefore, while it is respectful to wear a poppy, you have the freedom not to wear a poppy.
3. Is it OK to wear more than one poppy. ?
-While it is considered standard protocol to wear just one poppy on your left lapel, it is not totally wrong to wear more than one. Queen Elizabeth routinely wears several poppies when honouring the war dead. Sometimes people wear more than one because they want to honour several countries or several individuals.
4. How do you keep your poppy from falling off. ?
-While it is considered wrong to alter the pin or design of the Legion poppy, it is considered acceptable to fasten the poppy to your lapel with the backing of an earring, or, Poppy keepers, available at most legion branches, are small plastic tubes that attach to the back.
5. What do you do with the poppy after use. ?
-It is totally UNacceptable to keep your poppy from year to year, and reuse it.!! However, dropping off poppies at cenotaphs following the Remembrance Day service has become a tradition. You should check with local bylaws to make sure that doing so is permitted. Otherwise discard safely or keep in a book of memories from year to year. Veterans rely on the annual money collected from poppy sales year to year, so they would obviously prefer you NOT use your poppy for more than one campaign.
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