The Remembrance Day poppy has gone digital.
The poppy is best known as the bright red flower symbol worn up to and on November 11 to honour those who've fallen in the military service of their country.
A new initiative from the Royal Canadian Legion, and sponsored by Home Equity Bank's CHIP Reverse Morgage, however, is taking the poppy from the realm of the physical to the digital.
At the website Mypoppy.ca users can create their own digital poppy honouring a specific person or can choose not to customize it. With a design reminiscent of the Remembrance Day quarter the Royal Canadian Mint issued in 2004, the digital poppy is centred in a coin-like silver circle with the words "Remembrance Day 2019" and an "In Memory Of" script on the front and dedicator's name on its flipside.
The process starts with your email, in order to receive your customized digital poppy. It then takes you to a donation page, where one can donate any amount. "As is tradition, the annual Poppy campaign ends at midnight PST on Nov 11 and digital poppies will be removed from The Royal Canadian Legion's web page of the digital poppy platform," it states.
"Whether you chose Canada or were born here, we all get to enjoy values like freedom, democracy, and respect for others," says a message on the My Poppy website. "Veterans stood up for those rights, but it's up to us to uphold them. This Remembrance Day, honour veterans by dedicating a Poppy in memory of their name."
Some high-profile Canadians have created their own digital poppies.
Margaret Atwood, author of the dystopian novel The Handmaiden's Tale and numerous other books, has her digital poppy featured on the My Poppy homepage.
"I'm dedicating my digital poppy to Brigadier General T.G. Gibson, my spouse Graeme's father. He fought in World War Two in Italy and then through Holland and into Germany," said Atwood, honouring her late partner Graeme Gibson's father.
Ashley Callingbull, the 2015 Mrs. Universe winner, is also featured user on the My Poppy page.
"My digital Poppy is dedicated to my Great Grandfather, Maxime Papin, who along with Indigenous Canadians served with distinction in the Canadian military," said Callingbull.
The digital poppy is part of the Royal Canadian Legion's efforts to reach younger Canadians.
These digital poppies are also a reminder of all the good the physical poppy campaign does. Donations collected from physical poppies helps veterans.
"That money has to be spent on veterans or their families," Tom Eagles, Dominion president for the Royal Canadian Legion, told Samaritanmag in 2015. This can manifest itself in spending on anything from helping a veteran get their roof repaired to funding vital medical equipment that may help veterans.Air Jordan