Let’s remember the forgotten flower

Published 12:08am Sunday, May 26, 2013

Memorial Day is coming up and it brings back memories of my family in Natchez.

My sisters, brother, cousins and later our children helping my mother and members of the Ladies’ Auxiliary Veterans of Foreign Wars promote the sale of the red artificial poppy flowers to help benefit servicemen and women. The people today don’t seem to know much about the flower or its beginning. My explanation will be brief and hopefully knowledgeable to understand the start of one woman’s mission.

An American woman and poet Moina Michael conceived an idea to wear the red poppies on Memorial Day, as she was inspired by the poem, “In Flanders Fields,” written by John McCrae, on May 1915. She worked with the War Department tirelessly to achieve this goal. Miss Michael was so touched by the poem that she wrote her response to it: “We Shall Keep the Faith.” The monies she collected went to servicemen and women in need and this custom spread to France and other countries. By the early 1920s it had developed into The Veterans of Foreign Wars.

Wear your poppy on Memorial Day with pride because without the sacrifice of our servicemen and women, our children of today would not have the liberty to say “The Pledge of Allegiance” or fly our flags proudly.

 

Connie Lipscomb

Former Natchez resident