Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The Remembrance Poppy

If you would like to see photos of the extraordinary, marvelous display of poppies at The Tower of London, you can see them at this link.

Here are a few photos taken in London last June.  A photo of a Chelsea Pensioner on a wall at Heathrow Airport.  I have always had a soft spot for them, growing up in a family where they were given much love and respect.   

The Cenotaph in Whitehall, London.

I am sharing one of my teddy bears wearing Remembrance Poppies.  He is on display and sitting on a dresser in a bedroom upstairs.

The Red Poppy has always been part of my life.  Each year my Mother, to remember our fallen heroes, bought my sister and me a Poppy, and would explain why we were wearing them.  I don't ever remember a time in my childhood when we weren't given one at this time of the year. 

Moina Michael, an American lady, thought up the idea of the Poppy to commemorate the fallen.  She got her inspiration from Lt. Col. John MaCrae's 'We Shall Not Sleep', now known as 'Flanders Fields'.  

Moina Michael also wrote a poem inspired by that much beloved 'Flanders Fields'.  Hers was 'We shall Keep the Faith'.  You can read it here.

Flander's Fields can be read here.

The Red Poppy was brought to Britain three years later and was adopted by the British Legion under their founding president, General Douglas Haig.  This was in order to raise funds for British service personnel and their families.  I know of the General very well as my Father's middle names were Douglas Haig.  No matter what history says of the man, my Grandparents thought highly enough of him at the time to name their youngest son after him.   

The Red Poppy is a symbol of solemn remembrance and a determination to end war.  I will always wear my Remembrance Poppy and hope that one day its true meaning will come to pass.

"Ut mundus cognoscet pacem"
(May the world know peace)

"In spem vivam" 
(I live in hope)