Living on a Street named “Poppy” most of my life always brought special meaning to Memorial Day for me. I grew up when people often wore silk poppy flowers to remember the fallen. After World War I, a poem was written by a Canadian physician named John McCrae called “In Flanders Fields” which may have been the beginning of wearing poppies. The poem talks about the poppies that grew among the soldiers’ graves in Flanders. Two years later in 1920 the poppy became the official symbol of remembrance adopted by the National American Legion. Here is part of that poem:
“In Flanders Fields”
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.
Many veterans or those still associated with the Armed Forces sell silk poppies on the corners of most cities and towns during the weekend while others place flowers or American flags at the stones of the fallen or attend parades with marching bands following servicemen and veterans from various wars.
The original date chosen for the holiday was May 30 as the perfect date for flowers to be in bloom, but was changed to the last Monday in May when Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act in 1968. Whatever day it is celebrated, I thank all of those every day, past and present, who have made the ultimate sacrifice so that we may be free. Novella Duke is right. Freedom is Precious. We should remember that every day. Thank you to the Precious Art by Precious People. Novella is one of them.
See you in June. Next Tuesday, that is.
Have a wonderful weekend and Happy Birthday, Scot!