The 2018 Saskatoon poppy campaign has officially kicked off, beginning two weeks of fundraising for the local Royal Canadian Legions.
A launch event was held at Market Mall Friday morning, where Mayor Charlie Clark was presented with the first poppy of the campaign by navy veteran John Peters.
The poppy drive, which is based on donation, will last until Remembrance Day on Nov. 11 — this year marking the 100-year anniversary of the ceasefire that ended First World War.
Retired RCMP officers attended the ceremony dressed in First World War era military uniform, while a bicycle from 1916 used in the war was also placed on display.
Col. (Ret’d) Malcolm Young said it’s important for people to wear the poppy as a tribute to everyone affected by war.
“The poppy really is an international symbol of that sacrifice, reflection and consequence,” he said.
Young noted Saskatchewan made significant contributions to the “Great War,” with 23 per cent of eligible people in the province going over to fight — totalling over 41,000 soldiers.
About 6,000 were killed, while thousands more returned with physical and mental injuries.
“There was a whole generation of young men and women from Canada and around the world, and we should never forget that contribution,” he said.
Proceeds from the Saskatoon poppy campaign will go towards supporting veterans of all Canadian conflicts through legion services and programs.