Sunday, 8 November 2009

At the going down of the sun and in the morning - We will Remember them

Remembrance Day and a poppy. Recorded for this journal for the education of younger members of my family and anyone else who wondered why we wear a poppy. At the eleventh hour on the eleventh day of the eleventh month, the Two Minute Silence is observed on Armistice Day, the day which marks the end of the First World War.
When we bow our heads in reflection, we remember those who fought for our freedom during both World Wars. But now we also mourn and honour those who have lost their lives in more recent conflicts. Today, with troops on duty in Iraq, Afghanistan and other trouble spots around the world, Remembrance, and this two minute tribute, are as important as it has ever been.

So what was Armistice Day and why do we wear a poppy? Well this is why.

Armistice 1918
On 11 November 1918 the Armistice was signed between the Allied and German armies, ending the First World War – a global war that lasted four years with the total human cost to Britain and the Empire of 3,049,972 casualties, including 658,705 dead.

Of all the millions of men who joined up to serve and defend the country, there are now no survivors in the UK left.

The last three stalwarts of the Great War. Harry Patch, Bill Stone and Henry Allingham all died during 2009. With their passing, the Great War has finally moved from living human memory to history.
Henry Allingham said: "These hellish memories of war are ones I'd rather forget.
But never my comrades !
Never the men who gave their everything.

" During a visit to a war cemetery in France, he was quoted as saying,

"All of us must remember them, always " and so we do.

So why do we wear a poppy?
Doctor John McCrae, a Canadian wrote a poem in 1915 called

“In Flanders Fields”

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.

these were the battlefields where many thousands lost their lives and the only thing that continued to grow in the aftermath of the devastation was the Poppy. Moira Michael, an American was so moved by the poem, she sold some poppies to her friends and donated the money she raised to servicemen in need. In 1918 Moira wrote a poem in reply to “In Flanders Fields” entitled “We Shall Keep Faith”. According to her Poem, she promised to wear a Poppy in “memory of our dead” and so the tradition of wearing a poppy on Remembrance Day was born.

The poet Moira Michael wrote this poem in 1918

We Shall Keep the Faith
Oh! you who sleep in Flanders Fields,
Sleep sweet - to rise anew!
We caught the torch you threw
And holding high, we keep the FaithWith All who died.
We cherish, too, the poppy red
That grows on fields where valor led;
It seems to signal to the skies
That blood of heroes never dies,
But lends a lustre to the red
Of the flower that blooms above the deadIn Flanders Fields.
And now the Torch and Poppy Red
We wear in honor of our dead.
Fear not that ye have died for naught;
We'll teach the lesson that ye wrought
In Flanders Fields.

The Poppy is used in memorial of war time loss all over the world.

For example within Australasia, Anzac came to stand not just for the troops in World War I, but for Australian and New Zealand soldiers in time of war more generally. Anzac Day is observed annually in memory of those soldiers who died in war. It is commemorated each year by both countries on 25 April, the date of the first landing at Gallipoli in 1915 on a beach known as Anzac Cove. It is similar to days such as Memorial Day, Veterans Day, Armistice Day our Remembrance Day

Lest We Forget

Banner was created for free use by
extracts taken from The Royal British Legion with LINK
and the Seaford Club British Legion. LINK


HollyDoodleDesigns said...

I will remember them, Ginny.

Connie said...

I remember them, sugar!! My hubby spent friday, saturday and will spend tomorrow at our local stores handing out Buddy Poppies for donations for our Veterans of Foreign Wars. He's a retired US Marine so he knows how to honor them and all those who helped us during the War. I salute your country for its vigilance and the friendship we get from the Brits...
Kiss and thank them from this chick, please!!!!!!


Cathy said...

What a wonderful post. You learn so much by reading blogs. Thank you for this great story.

Have a great evening as the sun goes down and turns to night.

xo Cathy

Flossie Belle-Carilyn said...

This is a Wonderful thing to do, good on you.
I will always remember them..
My Dad was at Kokoda, and i know the damage that was done,to all the Men and their Families.
I wear my Poppy proudly, every year, and always will.
Maybe i should have a go at a Banner,as a Tribute to 11/11.
What do you think...

Flossie Belle-Carilyn said...

Hi Again,please send me your email addy, and i will send you the Anzac Banner to add to your Blog...Carilyn,

Flossie Belle-Carilyn said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Poppa said...

Nearer home Ginny-your own grandfather was gassed in the trenchs of Bourdon Wood in 1917,and eventually died of his wounds in 1954,when your grandmother was declared a war widow by the House of Lords in the same year.Bless you for your thoughts on remembering the fallen and those who served.-Poppa

Twinkle Pink said...

to my dad -
thank you for leaving a comment and adding to the history of this - one day i will publish this blog and include all the comments and this one will be very close to my heart x

Anonymous said...

As older Canadians our men serving overseas in the Great War, we tend to read John McCrae's message of spring 1915 in Belgium as a call for more troops to help achieve eventual victory over Germany. At that time we Dominions had thousands of men in the field, wounded and Fallen, but the United States was still a neutral. Suspect he'd be surprised at the idea "Take up our quarrel with the foe" was interpreted at war's end as wear a flower. As he died of disease in France 8 months before Armistice 11 Nov.'18 we will never know. regards from Canada.
We are very precise about when the commemorative poppy symbol is displayed. Just in the week leading up the Nov.11, after our Governor-General has accepted the first of the year's supply. You can sure date some of our media photos, by the red lapel symbol of remembrance of our War Dead. (A fundraising project to benefit the luckier survivors of military service - our vets.

Twinkle Pink said...

It is very interesting to hear everyone's views. As time moves on our own young need to understand our combined history. Of how we became such strong allies and how we will always continue to strive together for the good of human kind.

thank you again for your comments.