Memorial Day is a time to remember all the men and women who lost their lives serving our country. This year again, we are reminded of our lost heroes by the moving display of poppies on the lawn of the American Legion Hall in Southold. The wearing of poppies in honor of America’s war dead is traditionally done on Memorial Day.
The tradition goes back to one of nature’s phenomena that occurred in war-torn battlefields during World War I, where the red field poppy (papaver rhoeas) was one of the first plants to grow. Its seeds scattered in the wind and sat dormant in the ground, only germinating when the ground was disturbed—as it was by the brutal fighting.
The practice of wearing of poppies was further inspired by the poem “In Flanders Fields,” written in 1915 by Canadian soldier John McCrae when he saw the poppies in burials around his artillery position in Belgium.
Here is an excerpt from “In Flanders Fields,” by John McCrae, May 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...
The torch; be yours to hold it high...
Today, poppies are both a symbol of loss of life and a symbol of recovery and new life, as we care for our servicemen damaged physically or emotionally.
Please join us in thanking and honoring our service men and women, including our own Southold Veterans, and remembering those who have died in the service of our great Country. If you would like to support the good work of our American Legion Auxiliary, Unit 803, you may send your donations to PO Box 591, Southold, NY 11971.
Southold Town’s Memorial Day Parade begins at 10 AM, Monday , May 28th on Main Road and Boisseau Avenue. There is short a ceremony at the Gazebo at Main Road and Young’s Avenue. After the parade, hot dogs and soda will be served at the Southold American Legion Hall – come one, come all!
Happy Birthday, Chris...you’re our hero! We miss you ever so much...every day!!!