Tarot for the 21st Century!
Poppies for Remembrance on Memorial Day.
I remember the 50s when everyone had a bright red poppy in their lapel for Memorial Day. My Dad, who was in the US Coast Guard, would always bring one home for the Memorial Day weekend.
Moina Michael, known as the “Poppy Lady”, chose the poppy as a symbol of remembrance for those who served in World War I. She chose this because in Belgium and in Northern France after World War I, poppies grew wild in the battlefields over the graves of the fallen soldiers. Moina was a Professor in the US and a humanitarian. She adopted the custom of wearing the bright red poppy and sold poppies to friends and coworkers . Madam Guerin, know as The Poppy Lady from France, was visiting in the States, and took back the custom to France, using the money for widows and orphans. Canada, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Australia, France, Belgium, South Africa and many other countries also adopted this tradition and celebrate on Remembrance Day, aka Armistice Day, November 11. Poppies are now given in exchange for a contribution to raise money for veterans and their families by The Veterans of Foreign Wars and The American Legion Auxiliary here in the US.
Moina was inspired by the poem, In Flanders Fields by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, a Canadian Physician (1872-1918).
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.”
Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD
Inspired by the words in In Flanders Fields, Moina wrote her poem:
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 Faith
With 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 dead
In 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.
In Flanders Fields we fought
Moina Michael - November 1918