Monday, November 07, 2005

Canadian Legion: Raising hackles during Remembrance Day week

We Americans are into Veterans Day. There's a parade in every good-sized town, a ceremony at the local cemetary, church services, what have you - and most of us don't even get the day off. But Canadians take it more seriously, if possible. It's their Memorial Day, after all (we already had that, from the Civil War, so we just adapted Armistice Day to honor all those who had served). And one of their traditions, perhaps the biggest and certainly the most visible, cutting across all lines of class, age, politics, etc., is the wearing of the red poppy in remembrance of the war dead. These are sold by the Canadian Legion and have basically become the symbol of Remembrance Day. After November 1, through November 11, you see a pin-on plastic poppy on every newscaster and politician above the 49th.

Well, turns out the Legion is getting a mite tetchy about who uses the poppy where. And, in return, patriotic Canadians are getting a bit upset with the Legion for imagining it "owns" the poppy, the way Disney "owns" Mickey Mouse. Being a lady of strong opinion, you know I've already got an opinion on this; being a lady who believes strongly in "organic" national traditions, I'm sure you know where I come down on this.

remembrance poppy

I only think that Colby Cosh is wrong in this - one ought to put poppies everywhere, wear a poppy from last year, support the vets and honor those who died in battle, but write a strongly worded (but polite) note to the Legion telling them what you think of this nonsense of theirs.

For this week, Piglet is getting a rest and will be replaced by the glorious poppy. Click on it to go to my Flickr account and copy it if you like.

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1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

We canucks do take R D a bit more seriously than I've seen elsewhere, yeah. It's got something to do with people dying and vowing never again to enter into such a mess without a clear and valid cause.

This legion thing is absurd, however. I don't see them claiming copy on the flower itself, and I don't see how they can possibly argue ownership of the image.

It cheapens the memory of the very reluctant but determined soldiers whose sacrifice we honour through our thoughts, our hopes/prayers and our yearly-renewed vow of 'Never Again.'

Damn the legion for its misplaced pride.

11/07/2005 08:54:00 PM  

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