This is where we meet John McCrae. He was born in Guelph, Ontario in 1872.
From a young age John had an enthusiasm for the military. The McCrae family had a long history of being brave and noble soldiers.
John loved learning. He was also very artistic and he liked to draw and write poetry. When he grew up, John studied hard to become a doctor.
John loved adventure, so when the South African war broke out, John wanted to go. He felt a strong call of duty to serve his country.
In 1899, he sailed to South Africa to fight. When he returned home a year later, he studied to become a doctor.
Many years went by and John became an excellent teacher and accomplished surgeon. His enthusiasm and sense of caring for his patients and students earned him a high degree of respect.
He was a man of high principles and strong spiritual values. He was described as warm and sensitive, with extraordinary compassion for both people and animals.
Her idea come to be known as Poppy Day. On a special day, Remembrance Day, people could wear a cloth poppy as a symbol to honour and remember all the men and women who died in the war.
She asked associations to adopt and distribute the poppies on Remembrance Day as a way to raise money for widows and orphans of war torn France.
Anna campaigned tirelessly for her Poppy Day idea.
On July 4th, 1921, Madame Guerin met with the Great War Veterans Association in Port Arthur.
The Great War Veterans Association, now known as the Canadian Veterans Association, agreed to adopt the wearing of the poppy emblem.
The poppy campaign became a huge success as millions of people pinned the bright red flower over their hearts to show their solidarity with the men and women who had made such great sacrifices.
Today, the Royal Canadian Legion continues its Poppy Campaign from the last Friday in October until November 11th, Remembrance Day. It is one of the Royal Canadian Legion’s most important programs. The money raised provides financial assistance to veterans and their families, as well as funding for medical equipment, medical research, home services, long term care facilities and much more.
So our story starts and ends with a flower.
This remarkably delicate flower is a symbol of hope and a reminder to never forget those who gave their lives for our freedoms.
Let's take a moment to reflect on the freedoms and peace in our lives, and to remember the men and women who served and sacrificed for all we have today.