Right after Halloween and just as every store is switching from its fall motif to Christmas-themed displays, most Canadians adorn the red poppy until November 11.
The poppy, crystallized as a symbol of war and remembrance from John McCrae's poem In Flanders Fields
, is worn by most Canadians for a few weeks leading up to November 11.
Most Canadians, except me.
Growing up, I was deeply involved in Remembrance Day ceremonies in my hometown. Twice, I went to Holland to sing at Remembrance Day ceremonies. I spoke at Legions on the importance of remembrance as being necessary to peace.
But, as the Canadian government has demonstrated its support for foreign wars, the symbol of the poppy has been hijacked. While it remains a symbol of peace and remembrance for many, it has also become a symbol of support of Canada's current war ambitions.
Wrapped together with the yellow ribbon and a maple leaf, the poppy symbolizes a great myth: that there exists "just war" and that, through war, Canadians have been granted their freedom. Canada has been engaged in such a war for a decade, in Afghanistan.