The Red Poppy, To Honor and Remember
The Red Poppy
To Honor and Remember
By Suzanne Kalafian
Although the red poppy is native to Europe and Asia, the bright red blooms can also be found in the US in meadows and wildflower groupings around the country. These beautiful red flowers may appear fragile but their resilience is great. Despite the beautiful blooms, some consider these plants a weed because of their willingness to thrive in unlikely conditions.*
World War I gave the red poppy new meaning. It has become a symbol, a remembrance to honor the fallen soldiers. These brilliant red flowers are survivors and burst through the rough ground on the battlefields to remind us of hope and brighter days, when all was so desperate.**
In the United States, on and around Memorial Day, these significant red flowers can be seen on lapels, hats, crosses and memorials. They are worn to honor all the men and women who died fighting for our country. This Memorial weekend let's remember all the Fallen Heroes who gave their lives to keep us safe.
Below I have included the original Poem by John McCrae. McCrae served as a Brigade Surgeon for an Allied Artillery. Shortly after serving in the “Bloody Battle of Ypres”, he saw a cluster of bright red flowers on the ravaged battlefield. This was McCrae’s inspiration to write the poem “In Flanders Fields”. The poem gives voice to the soldiers who had been killed in battle and lay buried under poppy covered ground. **
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.
* Red poppy information Kids Gardening https://kidsgardening.org/growing-guide-red-poppies/
** Research from History https://www.history.com/news/world-war-i-poppy-remembrance-symbol-veterans-day
*** Poem Cited from Poetry Foyndation https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/47380/in-flanders-fields