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Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Why Canadians Wear Poppies in November

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In Flanders fields the poppies blow      
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky

The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead.
Short days ago

We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie

In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

 - John McCrae

The most visible flower during November in Canada isn't a tulip, or a rose. It's the poppy.

Canadians don the red poppy to commemorate the lives and sacrifices that our young soldiers made over the past century of war. The poppy was first adopted in 1921, as a visual mark of remembrance. Canadians generally wear the poppies starting in late-October, for about a two week period leading up to Remembrance Day, which takes place on November 11 every year.

The origin of the poppy is connected to the above poem, written in 1915 by John McCrae, a Canadian soldier, physician and poet who served during the First World War. He observed that the fields in which Canadian soldiers were buried, in Belgium, had a large amount of poppies which, to his eyes, grew quickly after soldiers were buried 'row on row.'

Watch the video below for a little more history on Flanders Fields. And remember the brave Canadians who paid the ultimate sacrifice by wearing a poppy in 2013.