In Flander's Fields
In Flanders fiels 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 flields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch be yours to hold it high.
If you break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
Col. John McCrae
The Story Of The Poppy
From the battlefields of World War I, weary soldiers brought home the memory of a
barren landscape transformed by wild poppies,
red as the blood that had soaked the soil. By that miracle of nature,
the spirit of their lost comrades lived on.
The poppy became a symbol of the sacrifice of lives in war, and represented the hope
that none had died in vain. The American Legion Auxillary Poppy has continued to
bloom for the causualties of four wars, it's petals of paper bound together for veterans,
by veterans, reminding America each year that the men and women who have served
and died for their country deserve to be remembered.
Poppy Day has become a familiar tradition in almost every American community.
The distribution of the bright red flower to the public is one of the oldest and most
widely recognized programs of the American Legion Auxillary.
This poppy, as a memorial to the war dead, can be traced to a single individual,
Miss Moina Michael. She was so moved by Col. McCrae's poem that she wrote a response:
...the blood of heroes never dies,
But lends a luster to the red
Of the flower that blooms above the dead
In Flander' Fields.
On impulse, she bought a bouquet of poppies - all that New York City's Wanamaker's
Department Store had - and handed them to businessmen meeting at the New York
YMCA where she worked.
She asked them to wear the poppy as a tribute to the fallen. That was November 1918.
World War I was over, but America's sons would forever rest in Flanders' Fields.
Later, she would spearhead a campaign
that would result in the adoption of the poppy as the national symbol of sacrifice.