Today in the states we celebrate Memorial Day. Last year in remembrance I shared the custom of wearing a poppy in memory of the sacrifices of war. A symbol of honoring lives lost and keeping the faith started by Moina Michael who after reading the 1918 poem Flanders Fields wrote these lines in reply.
The weekend’s arrived. And not just any weekend but a Holiday weekend, an early day today and Monday off. Whee!!! I still have so much to accomplish before the show on the 4th. There are more watercolors to finish, prints … Continue reading →
PRPSA (Punk Rock Porn Star Activist AKA my Gay BFF) borrowed my car to run errands for the day. He bought me the most beautiful pink Gerber daisy. Something about a surprise from a friend for no reason other than … Continue reading →
I have been away too long. Being the first day of the New Year I figured it was as good a time as any to jump back in. So the goal is to write a short story based on the photo prompt provided by Rochelle Wisoff-fields. This weeks photo belongs to her daughter-in-law, a picture of their tree-climbing dog. She assures that this is untouched and not photo-shopped. Yep, that’s her granddaughter watching.
Now I have no doubt that her dog can climb trees, but I’m biased. No, not because I want to believe everything people I like tell me. Because in college I taught my boyfriend’s German Shepherd, Picasso, to climb trees. We’d head out the the park and spend the afternoon watching people walk by from our wooded perch. Some of the best people watching I ever had. They never knew what to make of this giant dog high aloft an Oak. Are there Oaks in Colorado? Either way it was deciduous and splendid.
Wednesdays are playdates. Mrs. Snider brings her famous scones and mamma serves her homemade jelly. Timmy ran around the backyard throwing balls at my head.
Inside Mamma was filling coffee mugs inscribed #1 Mom. Soon they’d be on the back patio dishing the latest neighborhood scandals. Timmy acting like the angel he’s not.
“Your dog’s in the tree again”, Mrs. Snider pointed out. “Every time we’re here he takes to the tree.”
“Suppose he’s showing off”, mama smiled. When I can talk I’ll let Mama know the truth, Timmy and the trampoline. Or I’ll just join Toto in the tree.
This Memorial Day I want to honor those men and women who currently serve in our armed forces and to those many who have given their lives for our country. This is a sacrifice that shouldn’t be lost in a three day weekend and barbecues.
Memorial day has many stories about its true beginning. Decoration Day as it was originally called was officially proclaimed such by General John Logan in 1868 and first observed on May 30th by placing flowers on the graves of union and confederate soldiers at Arlington National. In 1873 New York was the first to recognize the holiday and the northern states were soon to follow. The southern states honored their fallen on another day. It wasn’t until after WWI that it became a day of remembrance for of all those who died in Service of America. In 1971 the National Holiday Act by Congress passed setting the holiday to fall on the last Monday in May ensuring the three day weekend we have come to enjoy and perhaps take for granted.
Inspired by the poem Flander’s Fields Moina Michael conceived of wearing red poppies on Memorial Day to honor those who died serving their country. She was the first to wear one. Selling them to friends and coworkers she raised money to benefit servicemen in need. A Frenchwoman Madame Guerin returning home from the US, inspired by Michaels, made artificial red poppies to raise money in France for war orphans and widows. This practice spread throughout Europe. In 1922 the VFW approached by Madame Guerin began selling poppies made by disabled vets. the poppy becoming a flower of remembrance around the world.
So on this holiday I hope you take a moment and can come together to honor all those who gave their all for your country. In honor of this tradition I leave you with the poem Flanders Fields and my version of Poppy.
In Flanders Fields
John McCrae, 1915.
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.