In 2020 Wanda Tucker put large poppies in her office windows during Veteran’s week, and it gathered lots of positive attention.
Tucker, the Family Support Program Supervisor at the Borden Family Resource Centre (BFRC), received so much positive feedback she thought it would be a fantastic initiative for the BFRC to include the entire community.
“The lofty goal is to have the entire community and surrounding area coming together in solidarity to provide a beautiful visual tribute to military members from both past and present,” said Debbie Legault, family support facilitator, BFRC and Wanda Tucker, family support program supervisor BFRC explained.
Poppies, a native plant along much of the Western Front during the First World War, have been used to symbolize military sacrifice and are recognized worldwide. The Canadian War Museum website informs that this symbolic flower was made famous after Canadian poet and soldier John McCrae wrote In Flanders Fields, referencing the flowers that often overgrew the mass graves left by battles.
Tucker and Legault shared the BFRC are “inviting the community to honour currently serving CAF (Canadian Armed Forces) members and the memory of the fallen this Remembrance Day by creating and displaying poppies in their windows so that CAF members and veterans can see them as they walk and drive by.”
Raising Public Awareness
Not only will the project honour CAF members and the fallen, but it will also help raise public awareness and provide a learning opportunity for children, according to Tucker and Legault.
The Project Poppy provides kits to the local community and surrounding area. Large poppies are created from the supplies in the kit and then displayed in the participant’s windows during Veterans Week, November 5 to 11, 2021.
The kits include all materials required to create the poppies, a package of Legion Poppy Seeds, and a Veterans Affairs Canada bookmark.
Kits will be made available at the centre starting November 1, giving me time to put the kits together and have them displayed in their windows in time for the first day of Veteran’s Week.
Legault says the intention is to keep them up until Remembrance Day. The number of kits is limited. However, the centre can provide templates to anyone who wants to take part.
Participants living in the Borden area can register by email here or phone at (705) 424-1200.
Outside of Borden
Local schools and Veterans who cannot get to Borden caught wind of the project, and Legault said to accommodate, “The Centre was able to provide the templates via email to them so they can still participate in Project Poppy.”
A Powerful Symbol
According to the Canadian War Museum, “In 1921, the Great War Veterans’ Association, the largest of several Canadian veterans groups, adopted the poppy as a symbol of remembrance.” Later in 1925, The Canadian Legion formed and continued this connection.
To recognize the sacrifice of soldiers, the poppy is worn on the left lapel close to the heart. The War Museum website noted that disabled veterans made the poppies, and any money raised, past and present, goes towards funding veterans’ needs.
To this day, poppies are a symbol of remembrance of the fallen and those who served or continue to serve their country in Canada, Great Britain, the nations of the Commonwealth, and the United States.