Friday, November 11, 2011

MY poppy is RED

In Canada it is tradition to wear a red poppy in the days preceding November 11th, Remembrance Day.
The poppy symbol reflects the over 6000 Canadian soldiers that died and were buried in a poppy field in Ypres in 1915 (over 100,000 Allied casualties in that 48 hour period)
The poppy pins are worn to show our respect and appreciation to those that have put their lives on the line, and for some to have made the ultimate sacrifice, to protect our rights & freedoms.
Some people are countering that war is wrong and the red poppies celebrate violence & war and therefore they are wearing white poppies to represent peace. I agree that war is not pretty, that sometimes it can seem pointless, however sometimes it is a necessary evil.  And because I appreciate my freedom I wear my RED poppy as a visible sign of my thanks.
Some of the white poppy people are the same people that bash our military and to them, and anyone else that wants to bash those men & women making so many sacrifices for us, so they can enjoy their freedom and sit on their asses, I'd like to say:
If you don't want to stand behind our military, 
then feel free to stand in front of them!
"In Flanders Fields" was written by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae during the Second Battle of Ypres.  It is a famous war memorial poem and has become almost the written/oral symbol of Remembrance Day. 
To me it is a hauntingly beautiful poem that came out of a terrible time.

In Flanders Fields
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
Scare heard amid the guns below.

We are the dead.  Short days ago,
We lived, felt dawn, felt 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.


  1. This is very touching.
    I don't really understand what's going on all around us, things are in such an up roar. I am eternally greatful for my freedom, and all of the sacrifices that have been made to ensure my freedom to this day.

  2. I am a Veteran. I served my country in various "skirmishes" and a couple of small wars. I am so gladf there are people like you! Thank you so very much.
    I meet others from time to time, we dont always see each other regularly, but now and then. When we meet at the Cenotaph, and Salute our fallen comrades, no matter what war, no matter when. I always shed tears, there isnt a man or woman there, who doesnt.

    Today, I proudly wear my veterans Badge, and my Poppy, let those who decry our sacrifice, have the honour of facing those who would end our way of life!

    "If ye break faith with us who die
    We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
    In Flanders fields".

    Thank you Lisa.

  3. Nice post - you said it much better than I would have....

    Love the poem and the history behind it. I have it memorized from years of reading it at school. Always brings a tear to my eye.

  4. Amen!

    Wonderful post CDN. Grab a Vet from me today and tell them Thanks from your southern neighbors too.

  5. Those who think that red poppies CELEBRATE war need to spend a day on the front lines. Then they will see that red symbolizes sacrifice, and the greatest charity that there is- the willingness to give your life for your countrymen. God bless all our troops, past and present, and may the souls of those who paid the ultimate sacrifice rest in glory in heaven. I wear my RED poppy with pride- and a lump in my throat.

  6. My brother is retired US Navy, and my nephew is active US Navy, so this post is very much appreciated. I understand opposition to war in general, and believe that war is not the answer. Having said that, this does not mean the sacrifices of the individual soldiers should not be recognized and mourned. Many of our soldiers who paid the ultimate price did so as a result of being chosen, not volunteering (Viet Nam). Imagine if no one stood up in the 1930's and 1940's when the Holocaust was taking place....The soldiers deserve to be honored, and we must all grieve and appreciate them for what they have done and continue to do.

  7. I just watched the documentary "Dresden" produced by German television about the destruction of that city in WW2. It takes neither side - it shows both the empathy of some of the Royal Air Force as they prepare to destroy it (many who still insist it was not necessary), and the citizens being bombed. It was wonderfully done, the ground perspective vs. air and command unit.

    I never knew about such a thing as a man-made firestorm, but I'll never forget it now.

    I asked my colleagues, what about this city we're in, what happened here? They said, "Look around, it's all rebuilt." (I could not tell.)

    Going to war is sometimes necessary.

    Whatever it takes to stop Hilter (etc). Malice is not in the good soldier - stopping evil is in his mind as he drops bombs. What would have happened if the British army did not come?

    I honestly ask because I have so many questions still. I am in a land that still feels its retribution, discovering and disarming bombs every month, every week, still.

    This country has no such thing as nationalism, outside the realm of soccer. This will take some time. My husband tells me that there is no such thing as Veterans Day here.

    Even then, in '45, they called it terrorism. Terrorism against Germany (because Dresden was a city of art and culture, and only partially involved in the war movement). Interesting to me, the use of the word terrorism in regard to WW2.

    I am celebrating Veteran's day today in the midst of a huge 11/11/11 celebration, the biggest in the country, of public drunkenness. Karneval begins in Cologne. (Mardi Gras.) It was so outrageous I was allowed to leave work early.

    I am spending the evening instead reflecting on my grandfather's stories and appreciating my friend's sacrifice.

    I like the story of the red poppy and wish I knew more about your culture.

  8. I remember wearing poppy pins as a child, I don't know when we stopped doing that here in the USA. Where can I order some? I would like to start the tradition again.


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