Letter: Build community, teach about poppies & Remembrance Day

"We have freedom of expression in this country, not freedom from the consequences of said expression," says the letter writer.

The Editor,

Well I see that the sharing of hateful, divisive and often fake news memes has if anything ramped up since the conclusion of our federal election, and the recent firing of broadcaster Don Cherry has thrown fuel on that fire.

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I really wish people of all political stripes would just take a moment, take a deep breath and do some research before posting.

We have freedom of expression in this country, not freedom from the consequences of said expression.

It's easy to generalize and cast blame, but as someone who has sold poppies for just over 25 years, I see plenty of other Canadians not wearing poppies.

I'll tell you what I do see: The majority of our air cadets and St. John Ambulance  youth are composed of "those people" whom Mr. Cherry called out. I don't see as many of the supposed "old stock" Canadians referenced by former prime minister Stephen Harper volunteering in our community.

Would I like to see more Canadians wearing poppies? Yes. Would I like to see more of our youth involved in community? Yes.

The fact that people don't understand the importance of why we wear the poppy means that for those of us who do get it need to step up our game and do a better job of educating people.

Legions are always in need of volunteers for the poppy campaign. As the numbers of our vets decline, Legions need new volunteers to go out to schools and speak to our youth about why we wear the poppy.

While Remembrance Day only happens on one day of the year, the sentiment behind it should reside in our hearts all year round.

It's easy to be a Facebook warrior. It's harder but far more rewarding to actually get involved and help build community.

Rob Bottos, Coquitlam

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