Here in Canada Remembrance Day is just around the corner, November 11, and poppies are being presented for donation reception by our Legionnaires. Lots of other
countries celebrate the same day under different names like Armistice Day or even Poppy Day. When I was serving as Legion Padre in Perth-Andover, New Brunswick, we would gather at the cenotaph in Perth for 11:00, move to the the cenotaph in neighboring Aroostook Village to conduct their cenotaph service, and then go to Fort Fairfield, Maine to assist the VFW in their service as they did not have a padre. Besides, some of our memberes had served in the American forces.
As a pastor, nephew of veterans, former Legion padre, and part time services padre, I encourage everyone who can to donate to the work of the Legion and VFW and to wear the poppy to commemorate the day and be thankful for the peace we enjoy. Take time during the day to pray for our vets and for the new ones being created in so many parts of the world. Of course I am thinking today of Afghanistan and Iraq in particular, but our men and women are fighting in many parts of the world and still lay down their lives for God, family and country.
Here is hint for the poppy wearers. I am one of those people who can lose a poppy just by thinking about it, or not. So, if you are one of those woodturners who makes ear rings and has a stash of ring backs, put one over the pin of your poppy so it does not fall off. Other wise go to the cheapie display of jewelry at the discount store and pay a buck or two for some gaudy junk you would not be caught dead wearing or knowing that giving it to your wife may be an act of suicide. After all, why toss the good stuff? Dump the ear rings and keep the backs for poppies. Now you can afford to give extra for the poppy because you know you only need one and fewer will be wasted. Better for the environment and everyone else.
By the way, for extra brownie points get a really nice pair of earrings, hide them until after Remembrance Day, use the backs for the poppies, get the extra back from your wife and then give her the earrings. That of course is for the fellas. Ladies can find their brownie points on their own.
In Flanders Fields
by John McCrae
Written in Flanders on May 3, 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.