Tragedies spark pride and poppy sales

With the recent deaths of two Canadian soldiers on home ground Princeton residents are digging deep to donate to the Legion this year

Princeton's poppy campaign kicked off last week with Mayor Frank Armitage receiving the first poppy.

Recent tragedies involving military personnel are prompting Princetonians to give big this year during the Legion’s annual poppy campaign.

Bob Paterson, poppy campaign manager, said the annual campaign brings in around $10,000 each year. The money is earmarked for supporting veterans and supporting veterans only.

“There’s no doubt in my mind that people are thinking more about it this year. I’ll tell you why, our initial Friday night donations were up 10 per cent or more which means they are thinking about the recent events and paying more attention,” he said during a phone interview Monday.

Nearing the end of October, Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent, a 28-year CF veteran, died of injuries he sustained after being run down by a vehicle in Quebec.

Two days later, a deranged man gunned down Cpl. Nathan Cirillo as he stood guard at the National War Memorial in Ottawa.

The killings that occurred on Canadian soil mixed with somber  thoughts about the beginning of the First World War 100 years ago, and the Second World War 75 years ago, will be high on the minds of those who attend Remembrance Day ceremonies.

Poppy trays are out in businesses and offices throughout the town including the grocery store and post office as well as, of course, the Legion itself.

Paterson said there are a number of veterans in the area who benefit from the money raised through the annual poppy campaign.

Money could be used to buy equipment or help to pay for services.

Remembrance Day ceremonies in Princeton start at 10:45 a.m. November 11 at the Legion, as participants line up for a parade..

They will march to the cenotaph at 10:50 a.m. The Legion will be open to the public following the ceremony.