When I was growing up in England, I can still recall my parents buying real poppies from veterans to commemorate Veterans Day. Now, of course, we only see the poppies made of rayon or paper, but do our children realize what they signify?
The symbol of the poppy came from a poem written by a Canadian, Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae who was a physician, and who had written a poem about a fallen comrade and friend, Alex Helmer in May, 1915. He was unhappy with the poem “In Flanders Field”, and had discarded it, but it was found by fellow soldiers and was published in December of that year in “Punch” magazine. The poem touched upon how red poppies would grow from the graves of the many fallen, and came to be symbolic of Remembrance Day.
“Remembrance Day is observed on 11 November to recall the end of hostilities of World War I on that date in 1918. Hostilities formally ended “at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month,” in accordance with the Armistice, signed by representatives of Germany and the Entente between 5:12 and 5:20 that morning. (“At the 11th hour” refers to the passing of the 11th hour, or 11:00 am) World War I officially ended with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles on 28 June 1919. (Wikipedia).
King George V honored the Fallen by dedicating Armistice/Remembrance Day on November 7th, 1919, and while it was initially for all of those who had died in battle in the Commonwealth countries, it is now observed in many other countries as well. In 1938, the U.S. signed into legislature as “Armistice Day, but after both World War 11 and the Korean Wars, the word “Armistice” was changed to Veterans Day in 1954.
Thank you to all of our veterans. Thank you for representing our various countries, and protecting us. Your sacrifice is huge, and we thank you.
Westchester is GREAT!