Thursday, 10 November 2011

How the poppy became the symbol of Remembrance Day.......................

The entrance to St Helens Church, Witton, Northwich
There was an attempt by footballs governing body Fifa to stop the English team wearing poppies during this weekends international match with Spain.
Fifa have since relented and the poppy will be worn by the players on armbands.

 How did the poppy became the symbol of remembrance?

It started with a Canadian writing a poem and an American inspired by its words starting to wear a poppy in honour of fallen soldiers.
  The poem "In Flanders Fields" describes the first sign of life after death - small red plants that grew on the graves of soldiers buried in northern France and Belgium during World War I.

Canadian physician and Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae is popularly believed to have written it on the 3rd of  May 1915 after witnessing the death of his friend (a fellow soldier) the day before.
The poem was first published on 8 December 1915 in the London based magazine Punch.

Click on the link for the poem and a bit more information.

American humanitarian Moina Michael started to wear and distribute poppies in honour of fallen soldiers. Two days before the armistice agreement was signed Ms Michael bought and then pinned a red poppy to her coat. She gave other poppies out to ex-servicemen at the YMCA headquarters in New York where she worked.
The poppy was officially adopted by the American Legion at a conference two years later.
At the same conference a French woman named Madame E Guerin saw an opportunity for orphans and widows to raise money in France by selling the poppies.
Since then, they have become an international symbol of remembering fallen soldiers.

The British Legion in the UK adopted the poppy in 1921.
It's now the Royal British Legion and they raised an amazing £36 million in 2010 for their charities.
Northwich War Memorial
As a young Sea Cadet (13) in my home town of Northwich I marched through the town along with my fellow crew mates and  the local Army and Air Cadets.
We assembled at the Memorial Hall and marched to Witton Church for the memorial service.
I had been chosen to stand guard on one corner of the War Memorial (above) during the outdoor service.
I was so proud.
The Poppy is a lovely flower to use to commemorate our fallen heroes.
We have John McCrae, Moina Michael and Madame Guerin to thank for that.

Skywatch Friday


Gary said...

Good post Andrew!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

Sinbad and I on the Loose said...

I have often seen the American Legion or local VFW sell paper poppies but never knew the story behind it. Thanks for telling the story.

TexWisGirl said...

thanks for this. i remember my parents buying poppies and displaying them on lapels or pinned on the car dash.

Kel said...

high impact composition in the first photo
and thanx for the little lesson on why people wear poppies on Nov 11, this year being 11.11.11 of course!

Marianne Duvendack, aka Ranger Anna said...

A beautiful post. Thank you.

Sylvia K said...

Thank you so much for the history you've shared with us today, Andrew, along with such lovely, peaceful skies and very moving captures! A wonderful reminder of how much we owe our fallen heroes -- our military! A wonderful post! I hope you have a wonderful weekend!


Magia da Inês said...

º° ✿
Bonitas imagens.

cieldequimper said...

Wonderful church entrance. This reminds of the days when I used to sport my poppy...

Chatty Crone said...

What amazing sites you have over there Andrew. I know the poem too. A lot of times when people stand out and ask for donations they give you a little silk poppy to wear.

A lot of soldiers died for our freedom and I thank them.


Pantherka said...

Thank you for the informative contribution.

mary said...

Beautiful post and thanks for sharing!


Red Nomad OZ said...

It's a Remembrance Day symbol even in OZ where the Flanders Poppy doesn't grow naturally - but I didn't know the story behind it! Thanx!!

EG Wow said...

Great post! Many people are wearing poppies here in Canada.

Fábio Martins said...

The first photography is gorgeus. I love the framework

J Bar said...

Great R Day post.
Sydney - City and Suburbs

chubskulit said...

Simply beautiful!

Sky shots at my page.

grammie g said...

HI Andrew...Lovely post to reminds us all of the lives that where given!!
Thanks to for posting the background of the poppy selling and wearing!!
I remember wearing one proudly for many years ...don't see that happening much now !


Oakland Daily Photo said...

Thanks for the education, Andrew. our photo of the field of white gravestones is quite compelling.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

LOvely tribute for Veterans Day/Remembrance Day. I remember memorizing that poem when I was in elementary school. The VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars) and American Legion used to sell poppies (plastic ones) as fun raisers back then. My dad was a member and he enlisted us kids to help.
I will be back to catch up on all your posts gradually, as computer time is limited when we're on the road. )

The Herald said...

Interesting post on why we wear our poppies Andrew. John McCrae's poem always brings a tear to my just says it all in a few short lines.

Stewart M said...

Hi there - today is not as "big" a day in Australia as ANZAC day - which I still find a little strange.

I still struck by the war memorials in tiny villages both here and back in the UK. Such out of the way places, but they still gave up their men for a war elsewhere. Remarkable really.

Stewart M - Australia

BlueShell said...

Thank you for sharing that information...

Scriptor Senex said...

Interesting, thanks.

ADRIAN said...

That has filled in a few gaps......thank you. It looks a great church if the entrance is anything to go by.

Wenche said...

Woow, how great it is :0)

Humberto Dib said...

Liked your blog, Andrew!
Cheers from Argentina.

JM said...

The top shot is just perfect. What an amazing piece of architecture! Love it.

holdingmoments said...

Excellent post Andrew. Very informative too.