Poppies – In Remembrance!

Have you ever wondered why poppies are passed out and worn on Memorial Day?  What is their significance?  In 1915, during World War I, a Canadian Lieutenant Colonel named John McCrae was serving in Belgium near the Ypres-Yser canal. During the war, this area, known as Flander’s Field, had been destroyed. But McCrae had noticed something.  Amidst the death and destruction, a symbol of life had emerged.  Around the site where the soldiers had buried their fallen brethren, thousands of  vibrant red flowers (poppies) had bloomed.  Out of his overwhelming emotion at this sight, he penned the poem “In Flanders Field.” Subsequently in response to this poem, a military volunteer named Moina Michael composed another poem titled “We Shall Keep the Faith” and she began efforts to have the poppy recognized as the official memorial symbol.  Her efforts were eventually endorsed by the National American Legion, which still currently hands out red poppies to remind us of those fallen.  Below are both poems.  God bless all those who have fallen in the name of freedom and liberty!

IN FLANDER’S FIELD
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.

WE SHALL KEEP THE FAITH
by Moina Michael 

Oh! you who sleep in Flanders Fields,
Sleep sweet – to rise anew!
We caught the torch you threw
And holding high, we keep the Faith
With All who died.
We cherish, too, the poppy red
That grows on fields where valor led;
It seems to signal to the skies
That blood of heroes never dies,
But lends a lustre to the red
Of the flower that blooms above the dead
In Flanders Fields.
And now the Torch and Poppy Red
We wear in honor of our dead.
Fear not that ye have died for naught;
We’ll teach the lesson that ye wrought
In Flanders Fields.

 

For the greatest love of all is a love that sacrifices all. And this great love is demonstrated when a person sacrifices his life for his friends.
John 15:13 (The Passion Translation)