“In Flanders Fields, the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row.”
— John McCrae
Meanwhile, at Toronto’s Yonge-Dundas Square on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, poppies could barely be spotted at all!
Sadly, it would appear that the phrase “lest we forget” has indeed been... forgotten.
We positioned ourselves at one of downtown Toronto’s busiest intersections just before 11 a.m. and spent more than an hour there simply observing and filming passersby.
At least 95 per cent of the folks we saw couldn’t be bothered to wear a poppy! And when the clock struck 11, virtually nobody stopped to observe a minute of silence. Too much shopping to do at the nearby Eaton Centre, I guess...
Meanwhile, authorities did their best to dissuade citizens from visiting cenotaphs to pay their respects. Nevertheless, a few hundred people still managed to show up at the downtown Toronto cenotaph.
Yet, how odd: an outdoor gathering to honour our veterans is considered too dangerous in this day and age of the Wuhan virus, yet shoppers jamming into the local Walmart or Costco is perfectly fine? That makes no sense!
In the final analysis, the dearth of poppies being worn by the people of Toronto was equal parts sad, disappointing and even downright infuriating.
Still, it would be wrong to force people to wear poppies. After all, our veterans fought for all our cherished rights and freedoms — including, alas, the right to be disrespectful to those who served...