Thursday, November 6, 2008

Thoughtful Thursday

I know, I know, I know, already.

Where did Tuesday and Wednesday go? They have flowed through my life like water through my hands.

Good news,though - looking at lunar projections, astrological maps, and a scientific tool I like to call a calendar, there'll be another Tuesday and Wednesday next week.

Onward...

One of the many endearing qualities I find in certain Americans (ok, A LOT of Americans) is their down-right direct approach. No politeness, no subterfuge, no coyness - just cut to the chase.

On a visit last year to the wonderful Baroness shopping mecca I call Lynnwood Washington (The Rack, Target, Kohl's, Barnes and Noble and Nordy's all in a 3 mile radius), a woman came up to me in the hotel lobby.

"WHAT is that flower you're wearing on your lapel, WHY am I seeing so many of these, and WHERE can I get one?"

Well, dear madam (dear direct madam)(direct, endearing, madam)(love you)(really!), this flower I humbly sport on my lapel is a red poppy. You are seeing so many of these, as it is November - the month in which our Canadian Remembrance Day falls (November 11th). In Canada, we can give a nominal donation to pick one up anywhere. Grocery store, hospital, school. It is a campaign set up by the Royal Canadian Legion, a group of tireless volunteers - most of whom have themselves been associated with war in one way or another.

For as long as I can remember (some 45-odd years or so), starting November 1st almost every Canadian wears a Red Poppy, as a tribute to all of the World War I and II veterans who selflessly gave life and limb as representatives of our country.

As to the poppy's signficance, it is a symbol of the profusion of flowers that grew in Flanders, Belgium where war casualties had been buried. This site became the subject of a poem written by Canadian physician and Lieutenant Colonel John McRae in 1915.

This poem is today's Thoughtful Thursday:

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.

Lest we forget...

(photo source here)



8 comments:

{i}Post said...

So touching! I have been doing a D-Day tribute over at my photoblog, This Too Shall Pass (http://thistooshallpass.aminus3.com). It is so important for all of us, in every nation, to remember those who have fought to get us where we are today!

The Guv'ner said...

It was the same thing in the Scotland when I was growing up there - everyone wore a poppy in November for Remembrance Day. It was just the norm. TV presenters etc. observed it too. I'm happy the tradition still happens!

Mental P Mama said...

Just beautiful....the poem and the photo.

Leah Marie said...

I got mine yesterday!
Show that support bitches!

Rachel said...

After my frantic 5:15 phone call to you yesterday regarding the inappropriately placed poppy on our local weathercaster (I'm so glad we agreed), I fired off an email to the TV station. In the next shot she was wearing a jacket, no visible poppy and at 6, it was a good inch and a half higher on her chest.
Each year, I think of my grandad, a tank driver, and all the other brave men who have fought for good and I am honoured to wear the crimson reminder.

Baroness von B said...

Countess iPost: Well said! I couldn't agree more - we can't rely on our children to learn the past on their own - we have to teach them.

Guv: It's a very cool thing to see a profusion of poppies every time you go anywhere. Even if, you'll see by Rachel's comment above, its placement is a little dodgy...

Countess MPM: I remember the poem being drilled into us at school; as an adult, it's so much more poignant.

Countess Schmee: That's my girl! So proud!!

I'd blug you, but you don't like that.

Countess Rachel: So good to see that you have the power to change the media - could you shoot a book deal this way?

The Baron and I have coined yet another phrase for the vonB lexicon: Noppy.

Figure it out. ;)

asthmagirl said...

Now that I have met both of you, I can easily believe the flow of wit the von B's generate at will!

Noppy!

hee, hee!

Baroness von B said...

Countess AG: Seriously. Weathergirl Girlfriend had her poppy so low on her,um, torso, it could have been a pasty. What was she thinking?

No doubt the WWII vets were sorely conflicted...

 
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