Remembrance Day still holds significance for many of us even though Christmas decorations in the malls and reminders in our emails seem to inch earlier each year. Younger Canadians struggle to identify with veterans and understanding Canada’s active roles in the World Wars. This year, to remind Canadians of wartime sacrifice, authentic letters written by soldiers who fought in the First and Second World Wars, can be read from their original destinations across Canada.
Visitors to the site can find a real letter that was sent within their neighbourhood – it might detail tragic loss, a journey across Europe, brutal descriptions of trench life or combat, or a powerful longing for home. It definitely, and literally, hits home in a very personal way.
These genuine letters – sourced from the Canadian Letters & Images Project at Vancouver Island University, who make the archived letters available to the public – offer a unique and insightful window into the past, while also using today’s QR codes to help drive Digital Poppy donations and share a moving and thought-provoking video featuring Canadian veterans speaking about the importance and power of wartime letters.
The Digital Poppy fundraising campaign, presenting partner HomeEquity Bank, not only sends the replica letters to Canadian homes, they’re also placing them on billboards across the country and broadcasting a national TV spot.
To further help spread the important message and to raise awareness about the Digital Poppy, the Legion National Foundation and The Royal Canadian Legion have enlisted the support of several high-profile ambassadors, including Margaret Atwood, Kurt Browning, Ashley Callingbull, and Pattie Lovett-Reid.