Officials at the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 71 in High River presented the first poppy of this year's campaign to Mayor Craig Snodgrass Friday.

Linda Reed says the poppy remains a very important symbol meant to recognize the sacrifices made by Canada's military, especially those who paid the ultimate price.

As soon as you see the poppy you know what it's for, it stands for remembrance and that's what everybody should be thinking about for the next two weeks is remembrance of those who died in the wars, we even have young veterans who fought in Afghanistan and Iraq so that's all part of the remembrance too because some of them didn't come back, some of them came back missing limbs, a lot of them came back with PTSD so this is an important time of year for people to remember that it's not just World War I and World War II and the Korean war, it's ongoing," Reed says.

High River Mayor Craig Snodgrass says it's extremely importantly to support the poppy campaign every year to support those men and women who fought to give us the freedom we have now.

"I think it's even of further importance when you see what's going on between Russia and Ukraine right now, the sacrifices, my generation doesn't get it, there's a few individuals that I went to school with that have ever seen war, most of us have no idea what that's about," Snodgrass says. "Watching the Russia Ukraine conflict and seeing the images we get on the news every day that's in 2022, imagine what was happening in World War I, World War II, the late 30's and 40's, it's brutal but that's why we remember it because it's the ultimate sacrifice."

Reed says the remembrance banners are up and when people see them it really brings home that people from this area fought and died overseas.

Money raised from the purchase of poppies is used throughout the area.

"We buy equipment for the High River Hospital, we buy equipment for the Foothills Country Hospice, we support three cadet corps, and we give money to food banks," Reed explained. "The poppy fund is a public fund so we can't use anything to support the branch, it's for veterans in need."

Poppies are available at locations throughout the region.