Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day

Let us remember those who have died in service to our nation.

Memorial day was first officially observed on May 30, 1868 when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. After World War I the holiday was changed to honor Americans who died fighting in any war.

The red poppy is a popular symbol of Memorial Day, more so in other countries, than our own. However, the United States was the first country to wear the poppy on Memorial Day in honor of those who died serving the nation during war. It was due to the poem “In Flanders Field” that Miss Moina Michael originated the Flanders Memorial Poppy which raised millions of dollars for veterans and their families. Miss Michael became known to millions of World War I veterans as the “Poppy Lady” and on 9 November 1918 she wrote the poem, "We Shall Keep the Faith", in answer to the "In Flanders Field" poem.

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’ve learned the lesson that ye taught
In Flanders Fields.


  1. Thank you for sharing the history and poetry of this special day. I think it's so important to pass it on so the we will never forget.
    Hugs, andrea

  2. Wonderful poem - thank you for sharing...

  3. that's so great. and ironic...i planted red poppy seeds yesterday and had no idea about the meaning behind them. dad must've been channeling through me.