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Why it’s Important to Wear a Poppy

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at York U chapter.

The connection between poppies and war started in the First World War, as many Canadians know. The idea was inspired by “In Flanders Fields,” a poem by Canadian army physician Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae. Lieutenant-Colonel McCrae’s poem is the reason that we now pay tribute to those who lost their lives fighting for our country by wearing faux-poppies on our coats and jackets the few weeks before November 11th.

Wearing poppies for Remembrance Day has been commonplace in Canada for decades now, yet there are still many people who don’t wear them. Of course, there’s a variety of reasons for why this could be, but I’m hoping this article will help those who don’t wear poppies see why they should.

Poppies are donned to show respect for the military personnel who’ve lost their lives in war. If you’re a pacifist, anti-military, or neither, it doesn’t matter. If you’ve known anyone who served in the Canadian Armed Forces or not, it doesn’t matter. The people who gave their lives for our country deserve to be commemorated, whether you feel that it was justified or not. Their ultimate sacrifice merits more than ignorance, selfishness, or indifference.

If we, as a society, cannot remember and respect the past, then we are doomed to forget what really makes us human: compassion. The least we can do, as residents of the country that those veterans fought and died for, is wear a poppy for two weeks. There’s no real excuse not to.

Show you understand the sacrifices made. Show you remember those who’ve passed. Donate some money and put on a poppy over your heart, because Remembrance Day isn’t about our personal views on war, the military, or politics, it’s about paying respects to those who’ve died for our country.


Sam is a Cinema & Media Studies student at York University. She is passionate about LGBTQ+ issues, mental health, and intersectional feminism. She loves dogs and grilled cheese and knows way too much about pop culture.