.by Anura Guruge
1/ King George V’s ‘Great Silence’ proclamation … — July 9, 2013.
2/ Origins Of “Armistice Day” (a.k.a “Poppy Day”) — June 11, 2013.
++++ Search for ‘Poppy’ using sidebar SEARCH esp. for 2103 posts >>>>
Please check dedicated ‘Red Poppy’ PAGE
above (↑↑) with tons of pictures and history.
The annual event of national Remembrance of those who lost their lives in the service of our country and others in the Empire group, is based on the date the Armistice was achieved in the World War of 1914-8. The eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.
In ’18, there was naturally national rejoicing at achieving victory. But in 1919 we were reminded of the cost to our families of sons, fathers, brothers, husbands and some women in the Nursing service.
The imagery of the hugely poignant Canadian battlefield was with us since 1915.
Turning this flower into a lapel device to be handed out as a fundraiser for French orphanage support came here from Madame Anna Guerin. She got support in the US but was sabatoged by the major returned soldier group deciding the flower was ‘too foreign’ and such nonsense.
So she focused on a long time Great War ally in that war, the Dominion of Canada. That Thunder Bay plaque documents this. They shared the profits for her children’s work overseas and their need for fund to help needy war vets here.
She goes to the UK with her concept and Douglas Haig, 1st Earl of Haig, backs the idea, as do other Dominions. 1921
Soon, her financial goal reached here, Mme. Guerin returned to her country but her little fabric device has caught on, and returned soldiers here are commissioned to make them. Mid 20s the Legion clubs have
a monopoly on production and profits but many civilian volunteers distribute them.
Armistice Day is renamed Remembrance Day.
More recently veteran groups start crowding the occasion, confusing their role in collecting money and benefitting from it, with the civilian/family-oriented intent of remembering the names of our lost men and women. This is the last batch of the mid 20th century returnees.
Almost every family living here in Canada since c. 1900 was touch by WWs.
Many had just emigrated, then joined up to go overseas in our uniform to fight on the side of their homeland, large UK.
‘Poppy Day’ in my experience died out when the fundraising period was extended beyond this one blitz day, after WW2.
November 11 would still stand if the device were not worn, and the empire-adopted Poppy imagery means War Dead, Fallen.
It’s been converted by the charities to meaning themselves, lucky fast-passing survivors, desperately reminding people of the early 20th century wars where they served in foreign fields, and those who seek power and better benefits.