War veterans and school children helped the TTC and the Royal Canadian Legion’s Toronto branch launch their annual poppy campaign at Spadina subway station.
TTC CEO Andy Byford addressed veterans and supporters Friday morning and spoke about the importance of wearing poppies and remembering Canada’s veterans.
“None of us would be here today, enjoying the freedom we have today, if it wasn’t for people like yourself,” Byford said. “When we see this red poppy we think of the men and women who fought and served to guard our freedom.”
Grade 6 students from Davisville Public School in attendance had poppies pinned on them by veterans.
“It’s vitally important that our young people from generation to generation never forget the contributions made by Canadian men and women through the war and through peacekeeping operations,” Byford said.
The students present understood the significance of Canada’s veterans in their service to the country.
“It’s important to remember them because of their brave sacrifice they have us so that we could have a better future,” Abdi Karim Abukar, a grade 6 student at Davisville Public school, said.
Abukar later read a story to the crowd written by Second World War veteran and former TTC employee John Swallow.
Lorraine Drake, who was distributing poppies at the ceremony, said it was beautiful to see young children wearing poppies. Drake is the daughter of a navy veteran and has been with the legion for 25 years.
The Royal Canadian Legion is in its 90th year of supporting veterans from any type of military service, conflict or mission, according to Legion District D Commander Karen Moore.
“We do so because the fallen or injured of yesteryear are just as relevant as the losses of today,” Moore said.
Moore also noted “In Flanders Fields,” the famous poem by John McCrae, is 100 years old this year.
On November 11 at 11:00 a.m. all TTC vehicles will stop for two minutes and observe a moment of silence to remember Canada’s veterans.
All current and former members of the military and one companion will also ride for free on Remembrance Day.
“This is the least we can do to once again salute you and what you represent and the sacrifices you’ve made,” Byford said.