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I READ YOUR article Publisher's letter (Don Cherry's Day to Remember, Volume 26, Issue 11) regarding Mr. Cherry's remarks on TV where he cited "You People" in reference to immigrants not wearing the poppy. There is a lot be said on this subject. I believe Don Cherry meant every word of this ignorant and prejudiced statement. This country is unfortunately full of hatred and it is extremely divided. This is not to say that everyone feels this type of hate. I have met some excellent, good, interesting people from here and many other countries.

I came to Canada from Greece at a young age. I asked, in my broken English, years ago why people were wearing this poppy and what was its meaning. It was then carefully explained to me. Since then, I have been wearing the poppy with great respect for Canada's fallen soldiers.

Immigrants are often misunderstood and mistreated. I know from personal experience, that wherever I worked or tried to socialize there were always remarks about me being an immigrant. According to some, we, (aka you people) came here to Canada, took away jobs and land from Canadians. It was a misconception that immigrants came to Canada from small towns and villages with the misconception and false information that North America was very wealthy and the government was looking for people to work. There were supposedly jobs for everyone according to the dream and plan for the majority. However, immigrants were to come here for five yeas at the most, make some income and go back home. However there were many tragedies that these immigrants had to endure.

My family had a five-star restaurant in Antigonish, Nova Scotia. In the early days there were windows smashed, physical abuse, and constant name calling. My younger siblings were chased from school by other students to the point they quit school for their own safety. I faced hatred, financial losses, and mistreatment.

I know for a fact that immigrants have worked very hard even though they never felt wanted or welcomed here in Canada. There remains a deep stigma against newcomers, especially from the elderly.

Most of the immigrants who came to Canada after the Second World War, faced hostility here.

It Is Mr. Cherry who enjoys the milk and honey from immigrants who take all the dirty and menial jobs. This is not to say Canadians did not struggle as well. However, I think Mr. Cherry is spoiled and privileged.

I believe very strongly that, in their hearts, many immigrants feel they do not deserve, or are not allowed to feel at ease to wear the poppy. This is not because they do not respect the fallen soldiers, but rather because these immigrants think that Remembrance Day is something to be celebrated by longtime Canadian citizens. These immigrants are made to feel they don't belong here and they don't have the right as new Canadians to commemorate this occasion. I do not think it had to do with the 'couple of bucks' as Mr. Cherry's insultingly and ignorantly implied.

Mr. Cherry knows what he said and what he meant. He has to apologise, as people like him poison young people into not being open minded. His remarks are dangerous for the youth, and for creating division among races.

He is not a good role model for society.

I will always wear the poppy for the fallen soldiers that gave their lives.

Maria Panagopoulus

Antigonish, NS

Caption: Don Cherry's night to remember on CBC

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Title Annotation:POSTED IN: Letters to the Editor
Author:Panagopoulus, Maria
Publication:Esprit de Corps
Article Type:Letter to the editor
Geographic Code:1CANA
Date:Jan 1, 2020
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