Neil St. Denys stands with his collection of poppies at the temporary location of the Red Deer Legion. Carlie Connolly/Red Deer Exoress

Over 90,000 poppies given out in Red Deer

Two ceremonies being held on Sunday

Remembrance Day is being celebrated across the country as people wear their poppies in honour of the fallen.

Neil St. Denys, member of the Poppy Committee, is one of the many that wear their poppies proudly.

Starting after the First World War, the bright red poppy holds a lot of significance.

“Of course, the poppy comes from Flanders Fields. In Europe one of the things that happened because of the type of soil structure and base, whenever they had bombardments that would blow the soil out, poppies would grow like mad and they would have these fields and fields of poppies,” said St. Denys.

And the meaningful symbols never go unnoticed, with around 90,000 worn each year in Red Deer alone.

“Every year, Legions across Canada run a Poppy Campaign and funds from that are used to assist veterans in different things.”

The Campaign starts officially on the last Friday of October and runs through until Remembrance Day.

The Red Deer Legion’s Poppy Campaign is two-fold. They have something called the ‘blitz’ where they put tables in several big stores across the City, while volunteers are there, encouraging others to buy poppies leading up to Remembrance Day.

“We also get veterans sitting at the tables. It’s getting harder and harder to find veterans because they’re getting older,” said St. Denys.

This year’s Red Deer Legion Remembrance Day ceremony is taking place at the Servus Arena (4725 43 Street) at 10:30 a.m. The Korean War Veterans’ Association service is happening outdoors at Veterans’ Park (49th Ave. and Ross St.) at 10:30 a.m. Parking is available at the Sorensen Station Parkade, on surface lots or metered on-street parking.

Close to 80 wreaths will be laid at the upcoming Remembrance Day ceremony by various organizations in the community.

People can pick up their poppies at the Red Deer Legion’s temporary office at #4-5106 47th Ave. (by the Downtown Co-op) from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Friday.

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