Memorial Day Special


Red Poppies
In 1915, inspired by the poem "In Flanders Fields,"
Moina Michael replied with her own poem:
"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"

She then conceived of an idea to wear red poppies on Memorial day in honor of those who died serving the nation during war. She was the first to wear one, and sold poppies to her friends and co-workers with the money going to benefit servicemen in need. Later a Madam Guerin from France was visiting the United States and learned of this new custom started by Ms. Michael. When she returned to France she made artificial red poppies to raise money for war orphaned children and widowed women. This tradition spread to other countries. In 1921, the Franco-American Children's League sold poppies nationally to benefit war orphans of France and Belgium. The League disbanded a year later and Madam Guerin approached the VFW for help.
Shortly before Memorial Day in 1922 the VFW became the first veterans' organization to nationally sell poppies. Two years later their "Buddy" Poppy program was selling artificial poppies made by disabled veterans. In 1948 the US Post Office honored Ms. Michael for her role in founding the National Poppy movement by issuing a red 3 cent postage stamp with her likeness on it.
On a personal note .. (please don't read this if you don't want to)  :-)
Memorial Day holds an incredibly tight bond in so many of our hearts. My husband is a Vietnam Vet .. one who choose to head back for a second tour. The first a Marine and the second he joined the Army becoming a Ranger. I was just young enough to not have any idea what the war was all about. NOW, I have insight as to what happens to our soldiers (warriors are more like it). My husband was captured twice, shot three times and came home with sadness in his heart but with such a kind soul. We will be married 36 years in December. As most of you know, he is battling terminal cancer and kidney disease. Our soldiers fought and died in the name of WAR and for those who did come home, the pain and mental torture was unbearable.
I don't know why anyone is stricken with cancer. It grips, tightens and tears at one's heart. The words I speak when talking to Leland seem to melt into tears. I realize everyone has their story and that ours in no less or more important than anyone else in this world. As I type this the song "Knock, knock, knocking on heaven's door" just came on the radio. Coincidence? I think not.
Thank you all for your continued support, kind words, thoughtful e-mails, and love. My gratitude for you all is so deep and will be remembered as Leland fights his personal battle without reservation. Every moment he is given will be cherished and carry us through as he fights and beyond ...   
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