Posted by: Kathy Temean | May 25, 2020

Happy Memorial Day & Book Winners

BOOK WINNERS:

Rosi Hollinbeck won DADDY LOVES YOU by Helen Foster James

Susan Johnston Taylor won MOMMY LOVES YOU by Helen Foster James

Carole Baldwin won GRANDMA LOVES YOU by Helen Foster James

Andrea R Huelsenbeck won GRANDPA LOVES YOU by Helen Foster James

Nancy Furstinger won AUNTIE LOVES YOU by Helen Foster James

AdIllustration won JONAS HENWAY’S UMBRELLA by Josh Crute

Carole Gerber won WHERE’D MY JO GO? by Jill Esbaum

Heather Stigall won NO PARTY POOPERS! by Gretchen McLellan

Please send me your name and address and mention the book you won.

Put BOOK WINNER IN THE SUBJECT AREA.

MEMORIAL DAY FACTS AND HISTORY

Traditionally, on Memorial Day (U.S.), people visit cemeteries and memorials, and volunteers often place American flags on each grave site at national cemeteries.  A national moment of remembrance takes place at 3:00 p.m. local time.

The custom of honoring ancestors by cleaning cemeteries and decorating graves is an ancient and worldwide tradition, but the specific origin of Memorial Day—or Decoration Day, as it was first known—is unclear.

In early rural America, this duty was usually performed in late summer and was an occasion for family reunions and picnics. After the Civil War, America’s need for a secular, patriotic ceremony to honor its military dead became prominent, as monuments to fallen soldiers were erected and dedicated, and ceremonies centering on the decoration of soldiers’ graves were held in towns and cities throughout the nation.

After World War I, the day expanded to honor those who have died in all American wars.

A Lasting Legacy

No less than 25 places have been named in connection with the origin of Memorial Day, and states observed the holiday on different dates. In 1971, Memorial Day became a national holiday by an act of Congress; it is now celebrated annually on the last Monday in May.

Since it all started with the Civil War, you might want to brush up on your knowledge of this event by visiting the Library of Congress Civil War collection, which includes more than a thousand photographs from the time.

WHY IS THE POPPY A SYMBOL OF MEMORIAL DAY?

In the war-torn battlefields of Europe, the common red field poppy (Papaver rhoeas) was one of the first plants to reappear. Its seeds scattered in the wind and sat dormant in the ground, only germinating when the ground was disturbed—as it was by the very brutal fighting of World War 1.

John McCrae, a Canadian soldier and physician, witnessed the war first hand and was inspired to write the now-famous poem “In Flanders Fields” in 1915. (See below for the poem.) He saw the poppies scattered throughout the battlefield surrounding his artillery position in Belgium.

The Poppy Lady

In November 1918, days before the official end of the war, an American professor named Moina Michael wrote her own poem, “We Shall Keep the Faith,” which was inspired by McCrae’s “In Flanders Fields.” In her poem (also shown below), she mentioned wearing the “poppy red” to honor the dead, and with that, the tradition of adorning one’s clothing with a single red poppy in remembrance of those killed in the Great War was born. Moina herself came to be known—and honored—as “The Poppy Lady.”

The Symbol Spreads Abroad

The wearing of the poppy was traditionally done on Memorial Day in the United States, but the symbolism has evolved to encompass all veterans living and deceased, so poppies may be worn on Veterans Day as well. Not long after the custom began, it was adopted by other Allied nations, including Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom, where it is still popular today. In these countries, the poppy is worn on Remembrance Day (November 11).

Today, poppies are not only a symbol of loss of life, but also of recovery and new life, especially in support of the servicemen who survived the war but suffered from physical and psychological injuries long after it ended.

Enjoy your day.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Responses

  1. Lucky me! I won JONAS HENWAY’S UMBRELLA by Josh Crute! Thanks for these great blog posts, Kathy.

    Like

  2. Thanks for picking me! I can’t wait to read Daddy Loves You! Have a happy, safe Memorial Day. Stay well.

    Like

  3. Congratulations, winners!

    Lovely post, Kathy!

    Like


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