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British Columbians invited to help plant 30,000 flags at Canada’s largest veteran facility

Toronto’s Sunnybrook Veterans Centre seeking nation-wide support to plant flags for Remembrance Day
A previous edition of Operation Raise a Flag is seen. Canadians across the country are once again invited to buy a flag to be planted outside the Sunnybrook Veterans Centre in Toronto this Remembrance Day. (Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre)

British Columbians are being asked to partake in a special operation that supports Canada’s veterans this Remembrance Day.

The initiative, called Operation Raise a Flag, asks Canadians to send a thank-you note or purchase a Canadian flag by donation to be planted outside Toronto’s Sunnybrook Veterans Centre.

More than 30,000 flags are planted outside the centre each Remembrance Day by staff, volunteers and Canadian Armed Forces personnel.

This year’s edition also includes Indigenous artwork which will be planted alongside the flags to commemorate the sacrifices and contributions made by First Nations, Inuit and Métis Veterans in service to Canada.

Dr. Jocelyn Charles, medical director at the centre, said in a statement that Remembrance Day can be an emotional time for veterans – exacerbated this year by COVID-19.

“Our veterans have shown tremendous resiliency as they dealt with the unknowns of the pandemic. Operation Raise a Flag will have a significant impact as Canadians pay tribute to our veterans and recognize the sacrifices and contributions of Indigenous veterans in service to Canada.”

Proceeds from the event will provide veterans with special amenities, enabling them to achieve their best quality of life through continued learning opportunities, innovative equipment and unique programming. Donations will also be used to support enhancements to outdoor spaces, such as the Veterans Therapeutic Garden.

The centre will be making a donation to an Indigenous-focused charity with the aim of building cultural understanding and awareness, the group said.

Donations can be made online, or by calling the centre at 1-866-696-2008.

READ MORE: First poppy presented to West Shore WWII veteran


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Justin Samanski-Langille

About the Author: Justin Samanski-Langille

I moved coast-to-coast to discover and share the stories of the West Shore, joining Black Press in 2021 after four years as a reporter in New Brunswick.
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