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Archive for May, 2013

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Memorial Day weekend has arrived with all the promise of warmer summer weather ahead.  Parades brimming with Norman Rockwell-style Americana are filling the streets, and flags are being raised proudly in celebration.

Amidst the festivities, it can be easy to forget that Memorial Day was first celebrated in 1868 to place flowers on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers who died during the Civil War.  The traditional date of May 30 was chosen because flowers would be in bloom all over the country.

A lesser known tradition is the custom of wearing a red poppy on the day.  It was inspired by the poem “In Flanders Fields,” by Moina Michael.

We cherish too, the Poppy red

That grows of fields where valor led.

It seems to signal to the skies

That blood of heroes never dies.

     It was her 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 with the money going to benefit servicemen in need. I plan to fill a vase myself this year.

All the best to you, and to your friends and loved ones who may be serving our country on this Memorial Day.

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