Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Poppy Campaign

The annual Poppy Campaign is underway: I gave a donation to the Royal Canadian Legion and a Veteran pinned this symbol of remembrance to my lapel.

The poppy has long been associated with battlefields. As long ago as the Napoleonic wars of the early 19th Century, it was observed that poppies grew thickly on the graves of fallen soldiers. These blood-red flowers came to symbolise the great sacrifice made in war.

In Flanders, northern France, poppies grew sparsely prior to World War I. When the earth was disturbed during heavy bombardments the chalk soil became rich with lime and the poppies appeared and thrived. When the lime disappeared, so did the poppies.

An American woman Moina Michael was inspired to wear a poppy as a personal pledge of "keeping faith with all who died" when she was working at the YMCA Overseas War Secretaries' Headquarters in November 1918; two days before the Armistice was declared at 11 o'clock on 11th November 1918.

Poppies were first distributed in Canada in November 1921 and they are now an international symbol of remembrance.


Heidi said...

I love the poem In Flanders Fields. Where we live, there are many poppies thriving in the berms along the roadsides. It is just beautiful. I think this is such a wonderful symbol to remember all who died.

Hugs ~

Primrose Corner said...

It's a sad time. But I think we should remember the fallen. We owe what we have in some many ways to them.