The Royal Canadian Legion and VIA Rail Canada together unveiled a new massive poppy-wrapped locomotive at the train company’s Ottawa station today. The locomotive is one of two that will travel the Quebec-Windsor corridor throughout the National Poppy Campaign this year.
While the fifth year for this partnership, it is the first year for such a massive poppy, which will be visible at greater distances. Other select train cars emblazoned with a decal of a smaller poppy will also circulate during the Remembrance period. In addition, 40,000 poppies will be distributed on board VIA Rail trains across the country until November 11.
“The visual reminder on VIA Rail cars, and the sharing of poppies on board their trains are powerful symbols of support for our Veterans,” says Thomas D. Irvine, Dominion President of The Royal Canadian Legion. “As we mark the 100th Anniversary of the Armistice that ended the First World War this year, we hope passengers and observers will take a moment to think about the Veterans from this and other conflicts for the freedom we enjoy in our country today. We are grateful to Canada’s national passenger rail company for its support of our military community throughout the year and we thank VIA Rail for being such a tremendous partner in Remembrance.”
VIA Rail Canada President and Chief Executive Officer Yves Desjardins-Siciliano also expressed the importance of their partnership initiative with the Legion this year.
“As the hundredth anniversary of the 1918 Armistice draws near, we dedicate ourselves to honour the memory of those who sacrificed their lives in service to our country so we may enjoy the freedoms we share today,” said Desjardins-Siciliano. “Throughout the year, VIA Rail shows its gratitude toward the military community with several initiatives designed to serve and support the men and women in uniform who bravely serve Canada, both at home and abroad. By displaying a poppy on our trains and handing out more than 40,000 poppies to passengers, we hope to remind Canadians of their duty to remember and express their gratitude for the sacrifices made by members of the armed forces, veterans and their families in time of war as in time of peace, in the name of freedom for all Canadians.”