Poppies: We Remember

DSC_0296 poppy close

Memorial Day this year is Monday, May 28, 2018. I’ll be wearing (or perhaps just posting) a bright red poppy over my heart to say, “I Remember.” 

Millions of people around the world wear a poppy on Remembrance Day to honor the fallen in World War I and other wars. In the United States we wear poppies on the Friday before Memorial Day or on Memorial Day itself.

In case you didn’t know, the idea had its origins in the poppies seen blooming on the muddy fields of Flanders, Belgium, the site of one of the most devastating battles of the First World War. Most people thought nothing would ever grow there again, yet there they were: bright red poppies flourishing across the fields.

In remembrance, John McCrae, a Canadian physician and World War I soldier wrote the poem “In Flanders Fields.” It reads:

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
    That mark our place; and in the sky
    The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
    Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
        In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
    The torch; be yours to hold it high.
    If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow

        In Flanders fields.

Take up the torch. Remember.

Rona Simmons

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