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Grocery Store Poppy — Memorial Day, 2008

As a kid growing up in Abilene, Texas, I recall those times with Mom or Dad would come back from the store with a little plastic, red poppy they had received for making a donation to the Veterans of Foreign Wars. That was, of course, the Memorial Day weekend. My father would wear that little poppy on his suit Sunday morning, although it was years before I really understood what the little flower represented, and that the artificial poppies were made by disabled vets.

As I understand it, the significance of the poppy and the rememberance of faithful veterans killed in action goes back to the Great War–World War I, although Memorial Day (which was called Decoration Day at one time) as an event goes back to the Civil War era. When American troups were lost to enemy action and disease in Europe during the Great War, they were buried in Flanders Fields, where they take their rest to this day.

I’ve been told that poppies only grow on soil that’s been broken and turned, as in the preparation and use of a grave. This was the inspiration of one of the greatest poems ever written to the memory and dedication of our uniformed heros past. It was written by John Mcrae in 1915, but it fits today, more than ever:

 

In Flanders Fields

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 blow

In Flanders Fields

…………………………………………………………………..

James D. Sutton, Psychologist    www.docspeak.com

 

 
 

  

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May 26, 2008 - Posted by | adversity, family, Inspirational, patriotism, Special Occasions, Uncategorized | , , , , ,

2 Comments »

  1. I cried the other day when I mentioned the poppy as a simble of remembering our military especially the VFW’s. Two men I was having breakfast with, one in his early 70’s, one a college professor late 40’s, didn’t know what I was talking about. I even recited the poem and it didn’t ring a bell, how sad. Yes, I got poppies tpday and shall pass them on with a copy of the poem.
    God bless all of our military and their families.

    AB

    Like

    Comment by Anne Barber | May 27, 2008 | Reply

  2. Very interesting to get the US perspective. You might also enjoy this:

    http://caughtinthemiddleman.wordpress.com/2008/10/24/wear-it-with-pride/

    Like

    Comment by Middle Man | October 24, 2008 | Reply


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