It is an absolutely gorgeous day out in Picton, ON and it hardly feels like November. Stopping for a quick bite to eat resulted in a very brief but essential reminder that it was again Poppy season, and I scrounged for any cash I could find. It wasn’t near enough and I apologized for how little I had placed in the box but he handed me a poppy and smiled at me in appreciation.
But today I knew that these men were out in full force all over town collecting cash in exchange for a plastic flower with a pin in honour of the men and women who fought in countless wars over the past many decades. These men served in a variety of fashions, whether it was militia or reserves or overseas but the fact remains; they served.
The Legion has been in existence for over 90 years now, and their mission since the beginning has been:
We provide representation, advocacy and financial assistance to serving and retired Veterans and their families, free of charge, Legion member or not. (www.legion.ca)
But sadly, in the past few years and due in part to many of the old WW2 veterans passing away, enrolment numbers have declined and their financial resources are not what they once were. The proof lies in the current “for sale” sign posted on the beautiful building that has housed the Legion for decades right down the road from Picton’s downtown core. Maintaining the cost of an older building was not as important as continuing the work that the Legion was established to do. But the men and women who comprise their membership are extraordinary people with exceptional stories and experiences. The same recurring theme filters through all of them, they either served or had family who served, and some would talk at length about their service, some would never talk about it.
To these men and women, military life was more than just a job or a vocation. To them, it was a chance at opportunity. But by accepting the responsibility of serving they fundamentally were agreeing to surrender their liberties to fight to protect ours at home.
The poppy drive is the Legion’s biggest fundraising event of the year. It is vitally important that we continue to support our Legion,
Our members invest resources, time and energy to
provide essential services in their communities.
We support seniors, youth, healthcare, low income families and much more. We are very proud of our record of service to Canadians for more than 88 years. (www.legion.ca)
So should you come across one of these finely dressed men or women, please take the time to stop and thank them for their dedication. Offer a donation, and please be generous.
The Picton Branch will be selling poppies right through to Remembrance Day, November 11, 2016. But should you want to make a contribution, or even just visit with some of the people who did serve in our Canadian Military then come and show your support at the Elk’s Hall in Picton on Saturday, November 5, 2016 between 1-4pm.
Subscribe to this blog PEOPLE OF PEC by following us on WordPress, Facebook or Instagram as we will be featuring stories all next week from some of our local men and women who served.