Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Happy Veterans/Remembrance/Armistice Day

"For your tomorrow, we gave our today." Major John Etty-Leal

I am unsure, but I do believe that there are no more veterans of WWI still alive, we have lost that human link.

Think about it & thank a veteran.

& If you like me are a fan of BBC America, you have been seeing a lot of paper poppies on lapels & probably wondered about their significance.

Here is the story (or at least one story):
So many of the fields in Europe not only were natural habitats for poppies, but were also the battlegrounds of WWI. The poppy became inexorably linked with the slain soldiers of WWI. Tragically, when WWI was not proved to be “the war to end all wars”, the poppy remained a constant symbol for those who gave their lives so that the world would eventually know peace.

In the Commonwealth Nations, the poppy is worn on Armistice Day (November 11) to commemorate veterans and civilians of WWI and the subsequent wars. In the US, poppies are worn on Memorial Day (last Monday in May) in memory of fallen soldiers, and on Veterans Day (November 11) in honor of veterans who are still living. Canadians wear poppies on Remembrance Day (also November 11) and New Zealand and Australia wear them on ANZAC Day (April 25). from Bellaonline.com.

(I remember as a child seeing them in the States - I think that we gave them out as girl scouts... but I haven't seen them here in years... Have you? Do you have any memories of those paper poppies?)

10 comments:

hetty said...

I was in Europe a few years ago and saw those poppies growing wild in the fields and waste lands. What an incredible sight! They are a good symbol for this special day.

Tami @ Lemon Tree Tales said...

My grandpa Panetta is still alive. He was in the Navy during WWII. He's in his mid 80s now and joined not too long after he came to America from Italy.

Kay said...

Several years ago I was in England on Nov ll, and bought a poppy. It was a particularly attractive updated version. I was so glad to see one again. Like you, I remember them, but never see them anymore.

Tami @ Lemon Tree Tales said...

Duh, I read it as WWII not WWI. Sorry about that. World News Australia reported that there are only three WWI veterans alive today.

julieQ said...

Happy Veteran's Day! I am loving seeing all the remembrances of this day.

Lesly (aka Shadrach Meshach and Abednego) said...

I have a poppy as my Facebook profile picture today, and added one to my blog. In Canada, the children in school read this poem every Remembrance Day. It was written by Lt. Col. John McCrae (1872-1918), of the Canadian Army.

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.

Virginia said...

Here's a list of the veterans of WWI that are still alive (not too many, and they're all over 100):

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_surviving_veterans_of_World_War_I

Pretty amazing.

Virginia said...

Awesome that your husband grew up in the BX! Wherein? We're always looking for little slices of the history of our borough.

Back to the Veteran's day part of things, I was talking to a coworker of mine that's French, and she was mentioning that Veteran's day is a much bigger deal in France than it is here. She was very surprised by the lack of caring that most people in NYC have regarding the day itself (or that nobody knew why the 11th was Veteran's Day). It's sad that we forget our war veterans so quickly.

Del said...

I remember the poppies, we always wore them during and after WWII and we learned the poem in grade school. Maybe we should revive the wearing of poppies for Memorial Day and Veteran's Day and Rememberance Day and.... all the other special veteran related days. There isn't much growing in Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan or Pakistan that would fill the same purpose.

Libby said...

I remember the poppies from childhood - but I haven't seen them in years. It's too bad, too. They are a good way to remind people of the day. I hope the tradition will begin again.