On Monday morning students from Maple Ridge visited the local legion to plant metal poppies around recently displayed white wooden crosses that honour local veterans.
Fourteen crosses were marked with the names of local veterans from Pitt Meadows and Maple Ridge who fought in the First World War, and one cross anchored at the centre displayed the poem In Flanders Field, written by John McCrae.
Students from Christina Geary’s Grade 7 class at St. Patrick’s School arrived at the legion and began to press the metal stems into the ground around 15 white wooden crosses displayed on the green space at the entrance of the building.
Judy Ballard, poppy chair at the legion, said its important the legion engage the community especially during this time of year.
“During the year you forget, you forget about the veterans that went over and fought in the war and then Remembrance Day comes… these people did the ultimate sacrifice,” she said. “It’s so nice to see young kids get so interested in it.”
Ballard organizes the distribution of poppies throughout the community and helps run the poppy campaign that runs each year from the last Friday in October to Nov. 10.
Last year the community helped raise more than $70,000 during the annual campaign, according to Ballard. This year the legion will be donating $30,000 from donations to the Ridge Meadows Hospital.
Clive Heah, principal at the school, was grateful the legion gave the students the opportunity to honour the veterans.
“I think its really important [we’re] [here] because especially today in the world when you look at the countries that are at war, and [the] [students] see that in the news, and they see what people in those countries go through, for them to recognize that we’re one of the countries that don’t see war because of what our veterans did for us in the war, it’s important for them to recognize that,” he said.
“It brings a tear to your eye because you realize the kids of today they remember and we see at that at Remembrance Day,” added Ballard.