I’m reposting this blog entry from last year, because I don’t think I can improve on it for 2009! Thanks to the people who have donated already for this year.
Right after Halloween in Canada, poppy pins blossom on lapels across Canada. We have Remembrance Day on November 11th to commemorate the sacrifices of war.
The poppy is a symbol of remembrance, and was popularized after the First World War due to a poem by Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae. Few poppies grew in Flanders, France, before the war broke out; rubble from bombardments enriched the soil with lime, and then the fields exploded with the blood-red flowers. Once the war was over, the lime became reabsorbed and the poppies disappeared.
In Flanders Fields
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.
– Lt. Col. John McCrae
So to help you remember, here’s a little free pattern for a poppy. It knits up very quickly in scrap yarn – I used aran weight black something, and triple-stranded Schaefer Anne for the red. You want to use a small needle so that it’s stiff. Finished size is approximately 2 inches across.
Poppies are not bought or sold; people make a contribution for their poppy.
Any donations from this pattern will be given to the Royal Canadian Legion Poppy Fund, which is used to provide immediate assistance to ex-servicemen and women in need. This may include food, shelter or medical attention for them or their families. Also, education bursaries are granted to children and grandchildren of ex-service personnel.
More information about the Royal Canadian Legion Poppy Campaign.
DONATIONS CLOSED – please donate to your local legion!