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Veterans Day and The Remembrance Poppy

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Veterans Day and The Remembrance Poppy
Veterans Day and The Remembrance Poppy
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On November 11 we celebrate Veterans Day, a celebration to honor America's veterans for their patriotism, love of country and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.

People will be wearing little red poppies on Veterans day. Here is a little history of the "Remembrance Poppy."

In the World War I battlefields of Belgium, poppies grew wild amid the ravaged landscape. How could such a pretty little flower grow wild while surrounded by death and destruction? The overturned soils of battle enabled the poppy seeds to be covered, thus allowing them to grow and to forever serve as a reminder of the bloodshed during that and future wars.

"In Flanders Fields" is one of the most notable poems written during World War I. It has been called "the most popular poem" produced during that period. Canadian physician and Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae is popularly believed to have written it on May 3, 1915 after he witnessed the death of his friend, Lieutenant Alexis Helmer, 22 years old, the day before.

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 grow
In Flanders fields.

"We Shall Keep the Faith" is a poem penned by Moina Michael, a professor and humanitarian. In November 1918, after reading In Flanders Fields, she wrote her poem and then conceived the idea of using poppies as a symbol of remembrance for those who served in World War I.

In 1921, her efforts resulted in the poppy being adopted as a symbol of remembrance for war veterans by the American Legion Auxiliary.

In 1948, four years after her death, the U.S. Postal Service issued a commemorative stamp honoring her achievements.

It is important we continue to remember this history and pass it down to future generations. After all, we do have them to thank for our freedom!

To read more about Veterans Day, see the following:

Veterans Day Poster

Make a Red Poppy

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