Poppy crosswalk in Chestermere, Alta. unveiled at official event
A controversial tribute to Canada's veterans went ahead in Chestermere Sunday, despite some debate over the local initiative.
A series of poppies were painted on a crosswalk at Anniversary Park, home of the city's cenotaph, this week.
But the homage was met with some pushback from the national office of the Royal Canadian Legion, which was concerned with crossing feet and tires over the national image.
Further, the organization holds the trademark for the poppy and requires permission for use in relation to remembrance: something a spokesperson says it didn't receive.
"The Legion deeply appreciates efforts like these, made by community members wanting to help remember Our Fallen," a statement from communications manager Nujma Bond said. "Unfortunately this particular display would have unintentionally resulted in individuals walking on the Poppy image, which is deemed disrespectful."
The teenage designer and his mother said Sunday they were upset to hear there was an issue.
"It was more than a little frustrating," Trisha Davies said. "I just hope that The Legion will embrace this because there's so much support coming from our veterans."
The unveiling ceremony still went ahead, helped along by speeches by the local mayor, a councillor and MLA.
And while The Legion wasn't necessarily pleased with the poppy use, its Alberta Command did provide flags and Remembrance-related items for the event.
Chestermere resident Christa Hiebert told CTV News she was still disappointed in the response.
"This is something that can bring people back and remind you about the freedom we have in our country," she said. "Times are kind of changing. If you can bring awareness in a place that is going to continue to have honour, then I think we're doing the right thing."
The Legion says it was entrusted with the image by the federal government to ensure it "is safeguarded and used respectfully."
Guidelines for poppy usage can be found on the organization's website.
A spokesperson says it has been contacted by some in the neighbourhood who aren't so happy with the crosswalk.
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