On Thursday afternoon, a small gathering was held at the Cenotaph in Merritt for the Legion’s presentation of the first poppies to local leaders.
Legion’s hand out first poppies every year to signal the beginning of the nationwide poppy campaign.
This year, the Merritt Legion chose to honour local leaders.
“We just decided that we would invite Mayor Brown, and then we started a discussion about the other communities. We thought it would be appropriate and fitting to also invite the local First Nations. As well as so many first nations are veterans and a lot of individuals don’t recognize them,” said Legion President Arlene Johnston.
Mayor Brown was honoured to receive the first poppy.
“It does mean a lot. I’m honoured to receive this poppy because of what I represent in the City of Merritt but also because my father was a veteran and it is meaningful to me,” said the Mayor.
The Chief of the Lower Nicola Indian Band was also presented with a poppy.
“It’s a great honour to be part of celebrating a very monumental, very impactful event in our world. I’m just very proud to be a part of this opportunity to pay tribute to the people that have made our country as safe as it can be and make us all feel as safe as we can possibly be,” said Chief Stu Jackson.
Band Councillor Dewey Shackelly was representing Nooaitch.
“Lest we forget has gone across all cultures, every level of person, whether your rich or poor it has affected everybody. It’s really good that we’re here remembering this day,” said Shackelly.
The poppy campaign runs until Remembrance Day with all funds supporting veterans and their families.
On Twitter: @Q101Merritt