May 26, 2011

Poppies and Memorial Day

                                             Mothers Day Pop-Up Card - Pink Poppies

When I was a kid, we lived on a farm.  There was a huge patch of poppies that grew and bloomed directly across the road from our house.  Any time we sat on the porch, we could easily enjoy the poppy view.  People driving by would slow down to get a good look at the poppies.  Some would stop their cars and get out to take photos.

One of my favorite childhood photos is a picture of  my sister Ruthie and myself standing in front of the poppy patch. We are wearing matching brown and white plaid dresses (made by our mother) and we are both holding--that's right,  poppies!

Later, in 7th grade English class, a teacher named Mrs. Kauffman required that we memorize the poem,  In Flanders Fields, by John McCrae.

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.

Unfortunately, I did not appreciate the meaning of this poem as a seventh grader. But Mrs. Kauffman would be gratified if she could know--so many years later--I can still recite some of it!

I did some research on how poppies came to be associated with Memorial Day and wrote an article on what I found:

If you are looking for an easy, quick, and inexpensive poppy craft for Memorial Day, you will find it here:

No comments:

Post a Comment