My grandfather fought in WWI
My father fought in WWII and Korea
I was in during the Vietnam Era
My daughter serves in Korea now
Here is the origin of the Buddy-Poppy:
Why was the poppy chosen as the symbol of remembrance for America's war dead?
The poppy, an international symbol for those who died in war, also had international origins.
A writer first made the connection between the poppy and battlefield deaths during the Napoleonic wars of the early 19th century, remarking that
fields that were barren before battle exploded with the blood-red flowers after the fighting ended.
Prior to the First World War few poppies grew in Flanders. During the tremendous bombardments of that war the chalk soils became rich in lime from
rubble, allowing 'popaver rhoeas' to thrive. When the war ended the lime was quickly absorbed, and the poppy began to disappear again.
Lieut-Col. John McCrae, the Canadian doctor who wrote the poem IN FLANDERS FIELDS in 1915, made the same connection 100 years later, during the First
World War, and the scarlet poppy quickly became the symbol for soldiers who died in battle.
Three years later an American, Moina Michael, was working in a New York City YMCA canteen when she started wearing a poppy in memory of the millions
who died on the battlefield. During a 1920 visit to the United States a French woman, Madame Guerin, learned of the custom. On her return to France
she decided to use handmade poppies to raise money for the destitute children in war-torn areas of the country.
Thanks to the millions of Americans who wear the flowers each November, the little red plant has never died. And neither have America's memories for
116,000 of their countrymen who died in battle.
Here's the poem:
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.
Sadly, Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae died of pneumonia at Wimereux near Boulogne, France on the 28th of January 1918 when he was 44 years old. He
never saw the end of the war.
In the year 1918 at the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month all along the lines of engagement the guns fell silent. Combatants remarked that
they could hear for once the sound of birds chirping and singing.
That was not the end of the legacy of WWI. It begot the communist revolution, WWII, the Cold War(Korea & Vietnam), the military build-up in China
today, the isolation and now resistance to change in the muslim world.
So by some standards the step off started in WWI has not stopped till this day.
[edit on 11/15/2004 by bodebliss]