Around 10,000 poppies were stolen from an Edmonton legion last week where a cenotaph was also defaced, with two bronze plaques taken.
Norwood Legion president Sharron Moffatt said members were devastated after learning of the thefts and vandalism. Two of six bronze plaques at the cenotaph commemorating Canadian war veterans were taken on Friday, and the legion has had three break-ins in the previous two weeks.
“It’s a real insult to us and veterans … We feel violated because somebody’s takings something away from you that’s very important to veterans and members,” she said.
“We have thousands of men and women fighting for our country and this is a little way to honour them, and they’re taking it away.”
Edmonton Police Services did not respond to a request for comment by deadline.
Police have been investigating the thefts, Moffat said. It would be wonderful if they turned up, she said, but an officer told her Tuesday they may never resurface.
The Legion, located at 82 Street and 111 Avenue, will need to fundraise to replace the stolen plaques but details are still being ironed out.
Moffat said she doesn’t understand why someone would want to take the poppies in the first place.
“I don’t know what they’re going to do with them … I’m not sure what they could do with them because its kind of a silly thing to take.”
The theft means the Legion won’t be able to offer as many poppies in November but they will still be available by donation, she says.
Moffat asked that the public keep watch if they see any suspicious activity around their building and the cenotaph, and to keep them in mind leading up to Remembrance Day.
“Just please donate at poppy time. That money is really important for veterans, they need a lot of help,” she said.
Coun. Jon Dziadyk first made the thefts public on Friday, saying on Facebook: “As a society, we need to make it perfectly clear that this activity will not be tolerated.”