‘Buddy Poppies’ dispersed Saturday
On Saturday, shoppers at the two main doors of the Natchez Walmart will be greeted by members of local VFW Post 9573.
The members will be handing out artificial flowers known as “Buddy Poppies” for free. The symbolic poppy is also known as the “Remembrance poppy, it is distributed virtually worldwide to honor those who have died in the defense of their country.”
For those who desire to, a small donation would be appreciated. Please take one and remember the sacrifices so many have made.
The poppies refer to the small flowers that grew at the site of the humbled World War I battle at Flanders Belgium and were inspired the poems “In Flanders Fields” by John McCrae and “We Shall Keep the Faith” By Moina Belle Michael.
In 1922 before Memorial Day the Veterans of Foreign Wars distributed the first poppies nationwide.
The collected donations are used by Post 9573 to support local veterans in distress.
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.
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.
Moina Belle Michael
John Goodrich is past commander of VFW Post 9573.