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)

28 comments:

Ginny said...

Every year, the Salvation Army still stands in front of stores selling the poppies! I think it really DOES keep remembrance alive. Children will ask WHY, and then their children will ask, and so on.

Elephant's Child said...

I too live in hope.
Perhaps not in my lifetime, but someday.
Please.

ladyfi said...

I live in hope of peace! Lovely post.

Beatrice Euphemie said...

This is such a dear and wonderful tradition. When I was in 5th grade, I was chosen to recite 'Flanders Field' in front of my home-town's Veteran's Day celebration. I was so nervous, but I memorized the whole poem. Your little bears look lovely wearing the red poppies. I am always praying for peace. xo Karen

Margaret Adamson said...

Where there is life, there will always be hope. A well written and illustrated post.

Mike @ A Bit About Britain said...

That's a wonderful post, Denise. Very thoughtfully composed and with excellent pictures. I was at the Cenotaph in London on Sunday and hope to post on that later today or tomorrow.

Stewart M said...

Nice post.

You were on the other side of the Whitehall to me when you took your pictures.

Hope is all we have left really.

Stewart M - Melbourne

Valerie said...

I have never managed to get to London's Cenotaph and nowadays I don't get to our local place of remembrance. I was particularly disturbed that there were terror threats before the Queen visited but the security guards protected her well. The world is a sick place right now.

Yogi♪♪♪ said...

I remember the poppies when I was a kid. They don't seem to be such a big deal any longer here.

Sandra said...

I love those last two quotes and they are what i wish for the world.
i just came from Molly The wolly who lives in London.. this is the link to those awesome poppies, one for each that died. amazing sight.
copy and paste, it is worth it.

http://mollythewally.blogspot.com/2014/11/at-11am-on-11th-day-of-11th-month-we.html?showComment=1415709727818#c6175508561782786866

TexWisGirl said...

as a child, my parents bought paper poppies and wore them for veterans' day. i've not seen the tradition done here in many years. maybe it is just texas that doesn't seem to do it.

George said...

Thank you for a marvelous Veterans' Day post. It's wonderful to be reminded that all nations should appreciate their veterans.

Linda Kay said...

Vets are usually offering these in many communities. Thanks for the history.

schmidleysscribblins.com said...

We learned the poem and wore the poppies when I was younger. I know the Brits lost almost 1 million men. A sad war. David's Dad was with the U.S. Expeditionary forces under Pershing.

ellen b said...

Great Britain remembers so well. I'm always impressed with their displays. I wish we could have seen the display of poppies at the "Tower" So sobering...
I remember and pray for peace and hope in our hearts...

Marie Flutterby said...

Happy Remembrance Day =0)

Red said...

Nice historical perspective along with remembrance.

A Brit in Tennessee said...

Happy Remembrance Day Denise and Greg.
Yes, I remember buying poppies even at school for a penny, and was so proud to wear and show support to our veterans.
Our sincere Thank You's to our current and past service members.
~Jo

Pauline Woodcock said...

A beautiful post. Thank you. I love In Flanders Field, remember at school our whole class reciting it and not one of us getting a word wrong (major achievement, I assure you). The link to it didn't work but I Googled it so I could read it again.

Betsy Adams said...

Happy Veteran's Day... I LOVE seeing the Poppies... I have several British Blog Friends --and several of them have shown the poppies on their blogs... Gorgeous...

Thanks for Sharing. Let's never forget them.. God Bless ALL of them.
Hugs,
Betsy

NatureFootstep said...

impressive building.

Linda P. said...

Thank you Denise for this thought-provoking post which I'm reading at the end of a moving day of remembrance and prayerful reflection on Armistice Day.

William Kendall said...

I buy several a year. One of them goes on our tomb of the unknown soldier. Another couple went at his actual gravestone, which is now in our war museum.

I was looking at a couple of McCrae's items today at that museum. One is a handwritten by him copy of the poem. The other was his personal revolver.

sallie (fulltime-Life.com) said...

A wonderful post for the day Denise (wonderful any day really but perfect for Veterans Day.) I saw the red poppies at the Tower on a couple of other blogs -- what a heart-rendering and wonderful memorial that project was.

We always had paper poppies for this day when I was a child, sold by the VFW members. Red ones if your loved veteran(s) were living, white if they were not. My mother and dad always explained the reasons as well. I do not remember this tradition when my own kids were growing up. I really don't know what happened to it.

Stephanie said...

I hope for peace one day all over the world. Great post and images.

Tanya Breese said...

great post! we get our poppies every year too :)

Gail Dixon said...

I had no idea the poppy idea was thought of by an American. It's a beautiful symbol with a powerful message. God bless the fallen and those still serving. Beautiful post, Denise!

SeagullSuzie said...

A lovely post.