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Kitty Dunn

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Did you get your poppies yet?

When I hear the word "poppies," my first thought is the line from the Wizard of Oz, where the Wicked Witch says "poppies will make them sleep," as Dorothy and her new pals run toward Emerald City. Secondly, I think about the red "buddy poppies" that are sold by veterans' groups around Memorial Day. I ran into an elderly American Legion volunteer that was selling the small crepe paper flowers outside the grocery store the other day. I told him my dad was a longtime Legionnaire and said that I was a fan as I donated some cash. That got me wondering about the origin of these poppies..so I looked it up. Apparently the Veterans of Foreign Wars started selling them after World War I around Memorial Day as a remembrance of soldiers and others who died in The Great War. The idea started with a poem written back in 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. - John McCrae


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05/26/2011 7:56AM
Did you get your poppies yet?
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