On November 11 we remember the men and women who fought courageously in World War I.
The poppies that you wear over your heart were once a symbol of the lives lost between July 28th, 1914, and November 11th, 1918. Today, they also represent the brave soldiers who have been lost in the wars since. They are a tribute to those fighting and serving now and a reminder that we must not forget.
When John McCrae wrote In Flanders Fields in 1915, he was looking out over a field of poppies: poppies, being the only thing that would grow in the lime-rich earth that had been devastated by war. Indeed, the blasts had stirred up seeds that lay dormant for many years and they grew in abundance.
This symbol, the poppy, is one of the most recognized symbols across the world. In a time of destruction and death, it represents new life, hope, and peace. From nothing grew these resilient flowers inspiring generations and urging us to remember those who have fought for what we have today.
Wear your poppy with pride and educate the younger generation. Remember what our country stands for and who we are as a nation. Treat each other with respect and instill these values into those who will eventually lead our great country.
We are a nation of peace and understanding, let’s keep it that way.
I’m going to leave you with John McCrae’s famous poem. Take a moment today to really read it. Read every word and remember those we have lost.
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.
~ John McCrae