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I am touched by your attitude of significance in choosing what you are going to grow in your garden. I am also touched that you wrote for us such a lovely reminder of why THIS day is more than just a day off from work to have a BBQ.
I descend from a long line of military men (and women) who put their lives at risk for us, who watched in horror as brothers and friends lay mutilated and dying in battle. The honor is ours to remember them with a red poppy on our lapel, or planted in our gardens.
I used that poem (and a vase of red poppies) during a Memorial Day service I helped organize at our church a few years ago, along with other readings (not mentioning flowers, I'm sorry to say). As Darius says, we were trying to point out that this is not just another 50% off previously reduced merchandise holiday sale, but ought to be a day of honoring and remembering those who have given their lives for this country. Another day we can discuss the virtues of holding wars vs. holding flower sales, today we honor those who didn't get to choose.
Yes Ben, thank you for the history. I had forgotten and needed the reminder that this is not just an extra day off work to have a BBQ. My memories are the same as yours, veterans in our small Vermont town sold these poppies on street corners, we had a parade and a 21-guin salute around the military statue at the park. It always gave me goosebumps. Thanks for the meoires.
Very sweet, thanks from Oregon too, I remember the sales of those little red poppies for years here. Our little town still hosts a Veteran's Parade and a Memorial Mass out at the cemetary giving each Veteran's grave a flag. There is a flyover of 3 Air Force jets.
Although I do not live in Flanders (which, indeed, is in Belgium), I live in France, and the red poppy grows wild everywhere. The first ones began to bloom in my yard this weekend. Although they can be a pest, I hesitate to pull them up unless they are really in the way, and always let some go to seed. Because, I, too, used to buy and wear red paper poppies on Memorial Days of childhood, when we went to place flowers on our family graves. And the poppies are an annual reminder of the blood that has soaked the land and, unfortunately, in some places still does. Anyone who wants them can send their name and address and I'll try to mail seedpods during the year.