Advance View: Plenty of respect in plastic poppy

’Tis the season for remembering veterans.

As we approach Remembrance Day, the uniformed old men – and more and more women – come into focus.

Phrases like “We Remember” and “Lest We Forget” are tossed about like maple leaves on the first windy day of autumn.

We all go out and buy our obligatory plastic poppies from the nearest Legionnaire and dutifully pin them to our lapels or collars or shirt pockets to signify the respect we all have for those who fought for our freedoms in the great wars past.

Some of us will even go out to visit Legion halls and cenotaphs on Remembrance Day, and stand respectfully still as the Last Post sounds at 11 a.m. on Nov. 11, braving the cold and wet (even more of us when the weatherman offers cool and dry) to emphasize our respect for our country’s veterans.

This time, try to remember more than just the usual stuff that we’re asked to remember on Remembrance Day.

Try to remember that, though there are no more veterans from the First World War to add solemnity to the occasion, there are still plenty left over from the Second World War.

And the Korean War.

And from Vietnam (yes, many Canadians did fight in that “police action”).

And from Bosnia.

And from Afghanistan.

And from all of the many peacekeeping functions attended by Canadians in between.

Never fret, it seems that, as veterans age and threaten to dwindle in numbers, the world has a way of providing us with more.

And try to remember also that our veterans don’t just pop up this time of year like mushrooms after a big rain. They’re with us all year round – try to remember that.

While you’re remembering those things, remember that when you buy a poppy, you’re supporting an organization, the Legion, that does support our veterans all year round.

That’s real respect.

– B.G.

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