Monday, May 28, 2007

Observe Memorial Day

"...gather around their sacred remains and garland the passionless mounds above them with choicest flowers of springtime....let us in this solemn presence renew our pledges to aid and assist those whom they have left among us as sacred charges upon the Nation's gratitude,--the soldier's and sailor's widow and orphan." --General John Logan, General Order No. 11, 5 May 1868

The "Memorial" in Memorial Day has been ignored by too many of us who are beneficiaries of those who have given the ultimate sacrifice. Often we do not observe the day as it should be, a day where we actively remember our ancestors, our family members, our loved ones, our neighbors, and our friends who have given the ultimate sacrifice:
by visiting cemeteries and placing flags or flowers on the graves of our fallen heroes.

by visiting memorials.

by flying the U.S. Flag at half-staff until noon.

by flying the 'POW/MIA Flag' as well (Section 1082 of the 1998 Defense Authorization Act).

by participating in a "National Moment of Remembrance": at 3 p.m. to pause and think upon the true meaning of the day, and for Taps to be played.

by renewing a pledge to aid the widows, widowers, and orphans of our falled dead, and to aid the disabled veterans.
Also, please consider adding your voice in support of the efforts to restore the traditional day of observance of Memorial Day back to May 30th (instead of "the last Monday in May"). This would help greatly to return the solemn meaning back to the day, and to help return minds and hearts to think upon the ultimate sacrifices made by those in service to our country. Just one day out of the year to honor our loved ones, our ancestors, our friends who died in conflicts and wars -- not to honor war, but those that died in those conflicts and wars.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Major John McCrae
Canadian Officer

Ever Ask the Question.........

Why are Red Poppies Given out on Veterans Day?
Check the info Below for the Answer.

History of the Flanders Poppies
(Red Corn Poppy)

For many years I have found myself asking what the significance of the red poppies were in relation to Veterans Day. This year that question was asked of me and I had no answer. I did vow, however, to find the story behind the symbol. What interesting information I found.

It has been noted throughout history that after a major war red poppies seemed to pop up in the battlefields and on soldiers graves. It seems that poppy seeds lay dormant in the soil and when the soil is heavily turned or dug up it causes them to sprout. The most detailed of this event took place in WWI in Flanders Field, Belgium. In the craters where bombs fell and on the mounds of rubble, poppies bloomed everywhere. The heavily churned earth and the high concentration of lime from the limestone buildings made the perfect catalyst for the poppies to grow.

Around 1920 an American, Moina Michael, was the 1st recorded incidence of a person wearing a poppy in remembrance of lives lost in WWI. Madame E. Guerin on a visit from France heard of the idea and upon returning home began to make homemade poppies and sold them to help support the children of war. This idea quickly spread around the world. The poppies are sold in many countries with proceeds benefiting many different veteran organizations.

So the next time you see someone with poppies for a donation......dig down deep and give with pride. Know you are saying thanks and helping a worthy supporting our vets and vets around the world.

Below, find a famous poem called ‘In Flanders Field’ written by Major John McCrae who was at Flanders Field, Belgium during WWI.

In Flanders Fields

by Major John McCrae
Canadian Officer

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.