Poppy Crosswalk for Cobourg?

In October 2021, Cobourg created a “seven feathers crosswalk” to remember indigenous “truth and reconciliation”; in June 2019, Cobourg celebrated Gay pride with a Rainbow crosswalk; and at the next Committee of the Whole Council meeting, Adam Bureau will move to create a third one – a poppy crosswalk – to honour veterans.  Adam does not specify exactly what it would look like but other municipalities have already created one so we can look at them for an indication. Adam does not say whether he has talked to the Legion about the idea – it’s possible they may not like the idea of people walking on poppies – not everyone thinks it’s a good idea.  See links below on the installation in Chestermere Alberta and others.  But who would vote against the idea?

Once we have three crosswalks which say something about Cobourg, what’s stopping other groups wanting a crosswalk?  Maybe a crosswalk to remember the homeless?  Or name your cause.

Here is a photo of the Chestermere installation.

Poppy crosswalk in Chestermere
Poppy crosswalk in Chestermere

There’s also the question of where it should be put. Adam’s motion will ask town staff to “find the best location in time for Remembrance Day.”

Resources

Cobourg news Blog reports

Other news reports

Update

Due to feedback from the public and the Legion, there will not be a Poppy crosswalk.  This was decided at the Committee of the Whole Council meeting on 17 July.  Instead, Town staff will work with the Legion on new ideas for Remembrance day.

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Bob McCleery
7 months ago

I am completely appalled by the thought of walking and driving over veterans. My father proudly served this country for 6 years during WW2 and the last poppy I wore was placed on his grave when he passed. If this goes forward, it is quite possibly that I might cause a traffic jam, as I will not drive over a symbol of our veterans.

DKC
7 months ago

Anyone who has been around or been brought up in a military surround does not have to think long to realize that this idea while possibly well meaning, did not undergo the proper thought process. My Dad being a veteran who fought in the Korean conflict as well as my Grandfather in world war 2, and a George Medal recipient, would have been disgusted by this idea. Better time, care , thought and consultation should precede these kind of decisions, whether it be talking to the military establishment, legion etc.

ben
7 months ago

Due to feedback from the public and the Legion, there will not be a Poppy crosswalk. This was decided at the Committee of the Whole Council meeting on 17 July. Instead, Town staff will work with the Legion on new ideas for Remembrance day.”

Speaking as a Veteran there was no bloody way I would support walking on the symbols of Remembrance!

If you want to commemorate Veterans rename First St. to Veterans’ Way

Newbie
7 months ago

Very pleased Council listened to the public’s and the Legion’s voices, and has decided against a Poppy Crosswalk. Also, pleased to hear they are working TOGETHER with the Legion on new ideas for remembrance. I really hope our youth are engaged as much as possible.

As each generation passes, our veterans roles (past & present) in courageously fighting for our freedoms loses more impact on our youth. Our military enrolment is down, more and more genZ and millennials believe in Anarchy (self governance, abolishing police and military), “Quiet Quitting”, etc, etc, etc.

Albeit, sticking to poppy crosswalk topic…good news.

Last edited 7 months ago by Newbie
Pete M
7 months ago

Given all the opposition against the crosswalk, it is now certain the Town will go ahead with this.
I foresee it being applied on Queen Street connecting the north part of Vic Park to the south part of Vic Park. Just before Remembrance Day, so people attending the Cenotaph Service can walk across

Bob LeDrew
Reply to  Pete M
7 months ago

Ermm…. Okay.

Jon Wood of Legion Village
7 months ago

I happen to agree with the Canadian Legion, if the Legion does not want this why are you considering it? After all doest the Legion represent the Service personnel.A FLAG WOULD BE MORE RESPECTFUL.

Kyle
Reply to  Jon Wood of Legion Village
7 months ago

Although I disagree with the poppy crosswalk idea as a political feel good stunt. I do not think the Canadian Legion is the default speaker for all veterans. I know a number of veterans of Afghanistan and more recent conflicts and they want nothing to do with the Legion. The Legion can express their opinion but they are not the only veteran voice these days.

Wally Keeler
7 months ago

Crosswalk culture is a form of applying a tattoo on the pavement. Crosswalk culture is a form of roadkill; dirty tires endlessly running over it. Crosswalk culture is undignified. Crosswalk culture is expensive to maintain in perpetuity. The Seven Feather crosswalk which was unveiled with great fanfare with the elders of Alderville present, extoling the virtues of the Truth and Reconciliation Committee, was ruined two days later because it was not prepared competently. Town machines were brought to bear to scrap up the remnants, then the crosswalk was dug up and a new one installed with a better surface. The Seven Feathers was again painted. This lasted a couple months before its dismal demise from 24/7 tire assault. What an incredible waste of money and what an insult to the Truth and Reconciliation Committee, as well as Cobourg taxpayers who were never consulted about this expensive failed project.

Newbie
7 months ago

I would like to think that Councillor Bureau’s intentions are good. However, I completely disagree. Both of my great grandfathers and uncle’s fought in WW II. For me, the poppy represents the bravery, valour and courage of young boys and men who fought for our FREEDOMS that we have today. To walk or drive over the poppy’s makes me cringe. The Canadian flag and the poppy represent 2 of the most important symbols of our town and country. They are the ONLY 2 symbols that UNITE ALL Canadians, based on ACTION taken to preserve our Freedoms. They represent duty, responsibility, patriotism and love for our freedoms. They are not intended to be used as ‘virtue signalling’ by our government. They are uniting and NOT divisive, like other symbols our government has no business displaying.

Perhaps our officials should try harder to educate our youth on what the poppy represents. Perhaps our officials should work hard at educating our youth on what Dictatorship, Fascism, Authoritarianism and Communism politically and truthfully represent.

Our ceremony at the cenotaph could be streamed to our public and high schools. Cobourg’s role in the world wars is personal…and may hit home, or have a meaningful impact that is direly needed on our youth today. The DBIA should mandate poppies in all store front windows, like the alphabet soup flag. These young boys and men need to be remembered…it is crucial.

Freedoms should NEVER be taken for granted and we always need to remember and respect those who bravely fought for them. They deserve PRIDE for their courageous ACTIONS. One day to these brave men and women vs one month of what??

Bill Thompson
Reply to  Newbie
7 months ago

The Canadian national flag has been debased/changed ever since it was redesigned which even extends to the national anthem as well.
Anything can be put on one side of the country’s flag as I’m sure everyone is familiar with which can represent any new current or future issue it appears.

Newbie
Reply to  Bill Thompson
7 months ago

Yes. I agree. And it is deplorable. To put rainbows on our National flag. The poppy and the Canadian flag do not represent contrived, money-making “social issues”. These are historical and UNITING symbols, and it is paramount that our government officials respect that history. Virtue signalling on behalf of “social issues “, just like religious ones have NO business in our Government and our public institutions.

Last edited 7 months ago by Newbie
Leweez
7 months ago

If we feel we must do this, why not not a mural on a wall much like Henley Arcade?
it might last longer, but still not sure we need to do this.

Bill Thompson
Reply to  Leweez
7 months ago

That would be providing a perfect target sadly for spray paint graffiti as evidenced around so many locations around town & elsewhere.

Rob
7 months ago

This seems to be an idea that comes from Adam’s sense of sentimentality and/or understanding that we do an embarrassingly poor job recognizing and supporting the men and women who bravely served and are currently serving our Country. That being said, this isn’t a good idea at all. It lacks creativity, sincerity, they look awful and there shouldn’t be any support for it.

Dam_213
Reply to  Rob
7 months ago

This is just a terrible idea just like the pride or anything else painted on the road. Odd idea to show respect by driving all over what you are trying to showcase. Not to mention the cost. The recent pride crossing in Port Hope cost $33,000. I served in the military, flags are enough for any soldier to see. We already have monuments we don’t need this silliness.

Scottie
Reply to  Rob
7 months ago

Or it means that Adam is setting himself up for a run at the Mayor’s position in 3.5 year’s time and is trying to get on the good side of the veterans!!

Tucker
Reply to  Scottie
7 months ago

I don’t think painting poppies on the road is trying to “get on the good side of the veterans”. Our father served in the second world war, was wounded also. Remembering the atrocities of war is something he never wanted to talk about. He would be appalled to see poppies on any road, run over by cars, cigarettes put out on them, people spitting. A special day of remembrance is appropriate but leave the poppies to wear on your coat, not run over with your car.

Bill Thompson
Reply to  Scottie
7 months ago

I doubt if there are enough veterans in Cobourg whose vote would make any difference ,even if he was trying to”get on their good side “

Tucker
Reply to  Bill Thompson
7 months ago

You are exactly right. Dad would have been 103.

Newbie
Reply to  Rob
7 months ago

I agree. The Town can do so much better. Work with the library, the DBIA, the schools, the Museum, the Legion, veterans. Collaborate with some creative integrity. It does not have to cost money. Our veterans should never be forgotten, and we should always be grateful and supportive of them and their heroism. I consistently hear the words “Engage” and “Community”…look at how the library currently has classes put on, in partnership with ‘Northumberland Queeries’, for our youth—or the month long show of seemingly never ending and well coordinated events in town.

Ensuring our youth are educated to Remember, Understand and Honour is essential to our past, present and future. Poppies painted on a crosswalk does not educate, or help youth to understand why wars are fought—how can they honour and why would they remember, if they do not understand? As others have stated; an expensive and hollow gesture of virtue signalling. My faith in leaving this education to our school system is not there, too focused on learning about social activism, revisionist history, pronouns and the over “100 gender identities”.

Last edited 7 months ago by Newbie
Wally Keeler
Reply to  Newbie
7 months ago

 “Collaborate with some creative integrity”

Good idea. Collaboration. The Legion could contact our secondary schools art class, ask the teacher to collaborate on the production of a Poppy Picnic Table for example. Cobourg Parks and Rec could provide the table. Let the students collaborate on the creative decoration of the table appropriate to the subject. A white table covered with poppies. Or students could collaborate with the Legion for images or documents or poems about the wars that can be copied onto transparencies which are then adhered to the picnic table with a coat of clear epoxy resin. Such a table would educate as well as decorate. With a coat of marine varnish and epoxy resin to seal the art, the table will last for years.

The Cobourg Museum could collaborate with the same art teacher for a similar picnic table donated by Parks & Rec.. Old images of Cobourg, people, bits of documents, whatever the Museum and artists decide on. They can be copied onto transparencies, preserved by epoxy. The table could be set in Victoria Park so visitors can know something about Cobourg and that the Cobourg Museum is only a 10 minute walk away.

Let Parks and Rec provide a table to Northumberland Players. They can decorate it with all the visual parephenalia of actors, playbills, of their extraordinary work history, via transparencies. They could site the table in the little nook beside the Firehall Theatre.

The Cobourg Library could produce a table with the writings of local authors that assemble for the Sprit of the Hills, Northumberland Arts Association and Cobourg Poetry Workshop, or a table devoted to poems by Cobourg’s current and past Poets Laureate.

This is just an idea to situate elements of Cobourg culture into the public domain. Take it to the streets and parks where people work and play. It is more durable than crosswalk culture. It is more dignified than crosswalk culture. It is less expensive than crosswalk culture. 

Sonya
7 months ago

How about a crosswalk that says no more drugs.

Beachwalker
7 months ago

I read the headline as “Puppy” and thought Yes! About time!

Sandpiper
7 months ago

I sure would like to Know that the CAO, CEO & Mayor
read and understood these responses

Rational
Reply to  Sandpiper
7 months ago

After resting from his India trip, I hope the Mayor won’t want to go on worldwide tour now to find out about poppy crosswalks.

Last edited 7 months ago by Rational
Lemon Cake
7 months ago

Diverting taxpayer dollars into supporting politicians’ pet causes will not solve the mountain of challenges facing this town – I think the criticism in the comments here is well deserved. I think people would be more supportive of these kinds of displays if our leadership proved able to develop substantive ideas and solutions to the big problems in front of us – homelessness, drug addiction, vagrancy, and the economic security of the town. As it is, it’s all hollow gestures.

Gerinator
Reply to  Lemon Cake
7 months ago

It just might be that the Mayor & CAO will come back from India boondoggle with some ideas about how to tackle some of the challenges you mention. Unlike our prior ‘management’ that headed off to China without producing anything that would explain the purpose and content of the trip, in response to the Mayors letter notifying us of the trip, I’ve asked that he and the CAO produce a report (trip report if you will) on what was done, said & committed to. A benefits statement would also be appreciated.

Pete M
Reply to  Lemon Cake
7 months ago

So true Lemon Cake,
My great uncle was killed in WWI, my grand father served in WWII.
Both generations were known as volunteers who did and got things done…they were doers.
If alive they would say stop the foolishness, this accomplishes nothing. They would say do substantive actions that solve problems…not virtue signalling

Ted Quinn
7 months ago

Speaking of crosswalks, back in the day when a person was going to cross the street at a crosswalk, they would hold their arm straight out to indicate that they were about to enter the street. Today they just stand on the curb and expect car drivers to see them and know their intentions, stop their vehicle and allow them to cross. This is especially confusing at the crosswalk at the Victoria Park and St. Peter’s church where there is also a bus stop where people stand waiting for the Town bus. I think if pedestrians at crosswalks started doing this arm indication again, it would be much safer for everyone.

Sandpiper
Reply to  Ted Quinn
7 months ago

Does this mean if someone ishit by a car , fall or bump into something as I am not paying attention they cam potentialy sue the Town over the DISTRACTION ???

Kevin
Reply to  Ted Quinn
7 months ago

It is also confusing because there is a sign for pedestrians telling them cars do not need to stop. Pedestrians could hold out their arm and car drivers could flash their lights indicating they will stop to let the pedestrian cross. This could happen anywhere (in front of CCI, for example), there does not have to be a designated crosswalk. Last weekend a guy held out a sword (not a real one, probably), I stopped to let him cross.

Jennifer Darrell
Reply to  Ted Quinn
7 months ago

I raised this very issue of confusing messages @ that cross walk with the Town a few years ago. The response I got was a detailed exact quote of the legalities in legalise but the bottom line (I think) was that, since there are no lights (overhead etc) to mark it as a cross walk, the Town cannot require vehicles ot stop there for pedestrians. It is still confusing and misleading to both pedestrians and drivers but many drivers do show some courtesy and caring by stopping for pedestrians. Others, of course, could care less and speed through. Caution is always needed at any time crossing a road on foot.

John L. Hill
7 months ago

The idea of a crosswalk where we allow people to stomp on poppies to honour our war dead is as ridiculous as honoring the Humane Society by painting pictures of dogs and cats on a crosswalk that cars drive over.

Frenchy
Reply to  John L. Hill
7 months ago

Please no more new ideas. You might be taken seriously. 🙃

George Taylor
7 months ago

my wife & i think it’s a Great Idea. every time someone crosses, if they know what the poppy represents it will jog there minds? i Don’t thing legion Command would be against this. it was only one branch out west that oppossed the crosswalk. we can see that some people would be oppossed to walking on the poppy, BUT we think it is for the Betterment of Rememberance?

Liz
Reply to  George Taylor
7 months ago

We all know and understand what the poppy means…we don’t need a reminder…save the money!!

George Taylor
Reply to  Liz
7 months ago

you mean, Don’t Walk On Feathers ALSO?

cornbread
7 months ago

We have been waiting 27 years for the town to fix about 5 serious dips on Tremaine St. Let’s get back to basics in Cobourg.

Cobourg taxpayer
7 months ago

I can think of much better ways to spend taxpayers money then another crosswalk or really any crosswalk at all, especially when the paint wears off within weeks and it looks terrible.

Ken Strauss
7 months ago

A 14.5% increase in property taxes, buses costing the taxpayers $60 per trip and public consumption of illegal drugs in our downtown yet one of our Councillors thinks that painting crosswalks is Cobourg’s most important issue. Who voted for him? 

Frenchy
7 months ago

The condition of the Seven Feathers crosswalk is a disgrace. The Pride one gets beat up every year and doesn’t last very long.
Let’s not do that to the “Poppy” too.
Like ya Adam, but dumb idea, hope the Legion shuts this down.
👎 👎 👎 👎 👎 👎 👎

Bill Thompson
Reply to  Frenchy
7 months ago

Better idea….return crosswalks to just being crosswalks…not everything has to be political or otherwise.
There are designated days etc for public reflection and history.. To show support for them show up on the designated days but no need for political statements in paint to be walked or driven over.

Jen
Reply to  Frenchy
7 months ago

Where is the 7 Feathers crosswalk? I remember it was removed due to poor painting. Did it change location?

Frenchy
Reply to  Jen
7 months ago

Nope, same location, lasted a couple of weeks longer than the one before it. It appears we just don’t know how to properly do this yet, for some crazy reason, keep wanting to do more.

Mrs. Anonymous
7 months ago

My father was a frontline soldier in world war 2. Although he is no longer here to ask, he was a practical man and I cannot believe that he would have seen a poppy painted sidewalk as a respectful or useful contribution.

I think many of us have quietly tolerated, not respected, most of these empty symbols of virtue.

If you want to honour veterans, insist your elected politicians fund the military, including good pensions and healthcare for them in their retirement.

Last edited 7 months ago by Mrs. Anonymous
Bill Thompson
Reply to  Mrs. Anonymous
7 months ago

The Canadian Armed Forces cannot get enough Canadians to join so now have landed immigrants enlisting to fill the requirements.That speaks volumes.
There is no shortage of young Canadians in ever increasing numbers in the drug culture, homeless, unemployed etc.
Canada has an answer to the increasing numbers of young people who are drifting through their lives without direction but doesn’t seem interested in it’s own defence.
There are numerous other countries that have military service a basic requirement as a citizen.
Perhaps it’s time in this ever increasing world situation that Canada should step up and fulfil their military obligations.

JimT
Reply to  Mrs. Anonymous
7 months ago

Re: “…many of us have quietly tolerated, not respected, most of these empty symbols…”
I think that says it all. Certainly represents my point of view on the whole topic.

Bill Thompson
Reply to  JimT
7 months ago

Why “quietly tolerate” ?
Freedom of speech is the most important prerequisite to a society which is obviously becoming a thing of the past as we now observe daily.

Fed up with PC culture
7 months ago

We are fast becoming an absurd society….where does it end???

NAI
Reply to  Fed up with PC culture
7 months ago

We have been since 2015…..