People in the Southeast are remembering war veterans by picking up a lot of poppies and then making donations to support programs that help veterans and their families.
Bill Richards is the Poppy Chair for the Steinbach Legion and is grateful for all the donations that have already come in.
“In the first two weekends, where the cadets, the guides and scouts have been out in the mall... over $4,000 in donations.”
Richards notes they have yet to collect donations from local businesses that are offering poppies.
The Steinbach Legion is holding the largest Remembrance Day service in Manitoba, outside of Winnipeg, he adds.
It will take place at the Pat Porter Active Living Centre on Saturday morning.
It starts at 10:45am but Richards expects a large attendance and suggests people arrive early to make sure they get a seat.
“We already have so many inquiries,” he says. “We will have a full house. Pat Porter has room for maybe 300 so I'm asking people to be there early.”
Richards notes that the increasing interest in honouring war veterans might be partially due to current wars.
“We have so much disruption going on between the Middle East, Ukraine... and people are reaching out. They want to get together in a community setting to reflect, remember, pray... and that’s what we’re here for.”
The service is expected to last 1.5 hours.
Richards says that while going through archives, he comes across a variety of stories about people from the Southeast who left during wartime to fight for freedom, and never returned home.
“I’m stricken specifically by one story, a young 19-year-old man by the name of Michael W. He landed at D-Day with 12,000 Canadian troops, never made it to the shore. That’s a tragic story.”
Richards says there are many more stories about people making the ultimate sacrifice and he urges us to never forget.
-With files from Michelle Sawatzky
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