News / Toronto

'In honour of their sacrifice': Poppies still a steadfast show of remembrance in Canada

The Royal Canadian Legion sent out 19 million poppies this year, and some cities have reported shortages.

A British survey released earlier this month showed a third of young people ages 18 to 24 will refuse to wear a poppy this year or have doubts about doing so.

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A British survey released earlier this month showed a third of young people ages 18 to 24 will refuse to wear a poppy this year or have doubts about doing so.

The poppy may be facing backlash overseas but, in Canada, veterans say pinning one on remains a steadfast show of remembrance for lives lost in war.

In fact, poppy shortages have been reported in cities like Toronto, said Dion Edmonds, marketing manager with the Royal Canadian Legion. The legion sent out some 19 million poppies this year to be distributed by branches across the country and, in some places, the boxes are bare.

A British survey released earlier this month showed a third of young people ages 18 to 24 will refuse to wear a poppy this year or have doubts about doing so. They say the symbol is a glorification of war, according to British reports.

The Royal Canadian Legion offers poppies for free but encourages people to make a donation when taking one. The 2015 poppy campaign collected nearly $20 million, which is used to help veterans and their families with things like medicine, housing and clothing.

Edmonds acknowledged that it's hard to know if all of those poppies are actually worn. But he's confident it remains a symbol people cherish.

"Canadians obviously care about veterans and want to wear that poppy in honour of their sacrifice," he said.

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