EDITORIAL: Practice poppy protocol, Squamish

Every year, Squamish residents turn out in droves to commemorate Remembrance Day.

So many locals turned up at one point that in 2016, the main event had to move out of Brennan Park Rec Centre over concerns for safety and fire regulations.

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The Squamish Nation, too, annually holds a separate Remembrance Day ceremony outside Totem Hall that is open to the public. 

It is a powerful statement that we are a town that so much respects our veterans that we show up en masse to two ceremonies.

But before you don the poppy and head to a Squamish ceremony, there is a poppy protocol to follow that some may not be aware of. 

The Royal Canadian Legion provides a Poppy Protocol for those of us who attend any Remembrance ceremony. 

[But they also note that these things can be deeply personal so they won’t take offense if they are broken.]

*The Poppy should be worn on the left side, over the heart. 

*It should be worn during the Remembrance period, from the last Friday in October until Nov. 11. Some wait until the end of Remembrance Day to take it off, while others take it off after the ceremony at the cenotaph and leave it there as a sign of respect. 

This has become especially common at the National War Memorial in downtown Ottawa, where the piles of dedicated poppies left on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier make a touching image. 

*The Legion also encourages attendees to wear poppies at the funerals of veterans, and for any commemorative event such as a memorial service, or the anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge.

*Poppies should be disposed of respectfully, or kept from year to year. Some local Squamish Nation members have made gorgeous, reusable beaded poppies, so watch for those too. 

*A poppy that has fallen to the ground should be picked up and brushed off so that it can be kept or disposed of properly. 

See you Nov. 11 at the Squamish Nation ceremony at Totem Hall or at the cenotaph in Stan Clarke Park. Head down about 10:30 a.m. to be sure to not miss any of this important event. 

This ceremony will be held in the open without covering or seating.

For more information, go to www.squamishlegion.ca or the Squamish Legion — Diamond Head Branch #277 Facebook page. 

 

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