The Poppy Story

This weekend we not only recognize My Mental Health Day but also Memorial Day—a day in which we remember those who gave their lives while fighting for our country. Too often we get caught up in the Memorial Day sales, our first spring vacation, or the extra day we get off from work to really remember what the day actually represents. This year, we hope you join us in taking a moment to reflect on those who have served, are serving, who sacrificed their lives for our freedoms.

As a reminder of those who were killed in service to our country, the MHA staff is wearing red poppies—a tradition that started long ago. The poppy movement was inspired by the poem “In Flanders Fields” written by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae of the Canadian forces in 1915 before the United States entered World War I.  In the World War I battlefields of Belgium, poppies grew wild amid the ravaged landscape. How could such a pretty little flower grow wild while surrounded by death and destruction? The overturned soils of battle enabled the poppy seeds to be covered, thus allowing them to grow and to forever serve as a reminder of the bloodshed during that and future wars.

We encourage you to reflect over this holiday weekend!

In Flanders Fields

by John McCrae

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
.

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