More than a symbol

It's November 11th. Today is a day that we put aside to think about those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms. 

For some, it has become just a day that they don't have to go to work or school as long as they pin a poppy on their chest. It used to be that Legions and civil ceremonies were full to the brim with people wanting to be together to collectively mourn.

No longer do we gather to think about those we lost. The poppy was the visual commitment that we would never forget. Veterans foodbanks are going empty and Legions are closing down as the generations that fought the war are aging. Those of us left behind are not picking up the slack to make sure that they are not forgotten. 

Our children were not raised with the same views of the wars as we were. Survivors are not able to go into schools to share the message of what fighting was like and what they lost, even if they made it back. It is up to us to make sure that they know what these people went through and what it means to the rest of us. 

There are a few simple ways I can think of to back up that poppy that we purchase because we should. Donate to a Veterans Foodbank in your area, go to a Legion anytime, the people there love an audience, and usually, the food is pretty good. Write a note or send a card to a veteran or even just to a senior's residence. Find a ceremony near you and attend it. If you have a workplace suggest that maybe this holiday season you adopt a senior or donate to a charity that serves veterans.

Remember those gone before they should have by being of service as they were for sure. Back up that poppy with action.


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