Remembrance Day wreaths are quickly being spoken for and poppies are in high demand early since attacks were made against Canadian soldiers last week.
Royal Canadian Legion Branch 139 President Bonnie O’Neill said she has seen a heightened interest locally in marking Remembrance Day in the days following the shooting deaths of Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent, 53, and Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, 24.
“More people are stepping up requesting wreaths and crosses for our service on Nov. 11,” O’Neill said.
Every year the legion in Williams Lake co-ordinates the poppy campaign, with help from local army and sea cadets.
Joe Bazan is the chair of the poppy campaign, which will have poppies out to merchants by Friday, Oct. 31.
Bazan said the campaign kicked off nationally on Tuesday morning, provincially a few hours later and in cities by the afternoon.
“On Friday wreaths and crosses will be displayed at some local businesses,” Bazan said. “Reserves in the backroom for wreaths and crosses are pressed to the limit.”
During the weekend cadets will be doing a poppy blitz around the community, he added.
Poppies are available by donation and locally all the money raised goes into a trust account for the benefit of veterans and active members of the armed services.
Another way for people to contribute is to text the word “poppy” to the number 20222 and $5 will be donated toward the provincial poppy fund.
“I don’t text but it’s a way for people who are using technology to get involved,” Bazan said.
The first time Bazan wore a poppy it was 1964 and his family was living in Quesnel.
“I was in Grade 10 and my dad was a second world war vet,” he recalled.
When asked if there’s a trick to securing a poppy he suggested putting it back through the fabric, bending the end over or using a little plastic plug from a corsage.
“We want as many poppies out there as possible so if you lose one get another one. You don’t have to pay again if you do lose one.”
Volunteers are needed for the ceremony taking place on Tuesday, Nov. 11.
Bazan can be reached at 250-392-7210 (home) or at the legion (250-392-7311).