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Honoring Declaration (Memorial) Day – May 2015

And now the Torch and Poppy Red We wear in honor of our dead. Fear not that ye have died for naught; We’ll teach the lesson that ye wrought In Flanders Fields. by Moina Michael

Laura D. Field of Reflective Tapestry of Life Memorial Day Weekend 2015

By Laura D. Field of Reflective Tapestry of Life – May 22, 2015

As we prepare to celebrate Memorial Day, Veterans across the country will greet us at the doorways of many retail establishments selling paper poppy flowers. These Veterans have seen comrades die in the fields that they served, all because they believed in defending our freedoms.

The paper poppy is a symbol of sacrifice, which memorializes the soldiers who fought and died during a time of war. As the poppies adorned the battlefields of Flanders Field in France, after World War I, those serving saw it as a living symbol of their family and friends who had fallen while fighting beside them.

In Flanders Fields by John McCrae

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.

In 1920, the VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars), declared the poppy as the VFW’s official flower. In 1924, the idea of creating and distributing this simple, yet meaningful, reminder was born. There are literally millions of crepe paper poppies made each year by disabled veterans, while the Auxiliary and Legion members, in exchange for a donation, later distribute them. The cost of exchange is that of your heart. These donations do not just get put in a bucket, but rather distributed to help veterans, orphans and widows. Due to the mounting needs of our active-duty service men and women (since May 9th, 2013 as a result of the Resolution 20) the funds raised now assist active-duty military personnel and their families with medical and financial needs.

To wear a poppy is an honor showing gratitude to our fallen American heroes, veterans and those serving in uniform.

We Shall Keep the Faith

(inspired by In Flanders Field by John McCrae) – by Moina Michael, November 1918

 Oh! you who sleep in Flanders Fields,

Sleep sweet – to rise anew!

We caught the torch you threw

And holding high, we keep the Faith

With All who died.

We cherish, too, the poppy red

That grows on fields where valor led;

It seems to signal to the skies

That blood of heroes never dies,

But lends a lustre to the red

Of the flower that blooms above the dead

In Flanders Fields.

And now the Torch and Poppy Red

We wear in honor of our dead.

Fear not that ye have died for naught;

We’ll teach the lesson that ye wrought

In Flanders Fields.

 As you go about your busy holiday weekend, take a moment to shake the hand of a service person that served your country with pride and honor, yet remember that Memorial Day is that of remembering our fallen soldiers who have fallen during their service for our freedom. Then generously give from your heart as you receive a poppy to proudly adorn on your shirt button, belt loop, purse, backpack, or car mirror. Even if you never served your country as a soldier, this little act of appreciation can be a small part of your service while taking time daily to pray for these men, women and families.

May your day of celebration be a fond one of respect,  appreciation and remembrance, as the fallen soldiers are the reason we have this Memorial Day.

Laura

Blogger, Freelance writer

www.reflectivetapestryoflife.com

www.potpourrioflife.com

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NOTE: Poppies are sold by the doors of retail establishments on both Memorial Day as well as Veterans Day.

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