MEMORIAL DAY: WE WON’T FORGET..

Posted: May 27, 2013 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , ,

Remembrance-Wall2 copy

Traditional observance of Memorial day has diminished over the years. Many Americans nowadays have forgotten the meaning and traditions of Memorial Day. At many cemeteries, the graves of the fallen are increasingly ignored, neglected. Most people no longer remember the proper flag etiquette for the day. While there are towns and cities that still hold Memorial Day parades, many have not held a parade in decades. Some people think the day is for honoring any and all dead, and not just those fallen in service to our country.

Around 1915, Moina Michael first conceived of an idea to wear red poppies on Memorial day in honor of those who died serving the nation during war.  She was the first to wear one, and sold poppies to her friends and co-workers with the money going to benefit servicemen in need.  Inspired by a poem “In Flanders Fields”, she wrote the following poem.

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.

Later a Madam Guerin from France was visiting the United States and learned of this new custom started by Ms. Michael and when she returned to France, made artificial red poppies to raise money for war orphaned children and widowed women. This tradition spread to other countries. In 1921, the Franco-American Children’s League sold poppies nationally to benefit war orphans of France and Belgium. The League disbanded a year later and Madam Guerin approached the VFW for help. Shortly before Memorial Day in 1922 the VFW became the first veterans’ organization to nationally sell poppies. Two years later their “Buddy” Poppy program was selling artificial poppies made by disabled veterans. In 1948 the US Post Office honored Ms Michael for her role in founding the National Poppy movement by issuing a red 3 cent postage stamp with her likeness on it.

A war veteran from the shores of Normandy and the Phillipines, my dad has since passed, but a Memorial Day does not go by without remembering him holding my hand as a young child and stopping before a disabled veteran at a local market, where he would donate some money in exchange for a red poppy, in remembrance of those who have fallen in the line of duty.

Comments
  1. M. Nichols says:

    Nice food for thought on Memorial Day. Thank you.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s