Sunday, May 27, 2012

Memorial Day, May 28, 2012

“We cherish too, the Poppy red
That grows on fields where valor led,
It seems to signal to the skies
That blood of heroes never dies."
~~ Moina Michael (aka Poppy Lady)

U.S. professor and humanitarian who vowed to always wear a red poppy as a symbol of remembrance for those who served in the war. In 1915, inspired by the poem "In Flanders Fields," Moina Michael replied with her own poem, We Shall Keep the Faith, November 1918

In Flander's Field 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.

Memorial Day, honors men and women who fought for our country so that we can all be free.

Originally called Decoration Day, Memorial Day is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation's service. We all should help celebrate our nation’s vets by remembering and never letting the importance of Memorial Day fade.

Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11, and was first observed on 30 May 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. The first state to officially recognize the holiday was New York in 1873. By 1890 it was recognized by all of the northern states. The South refused to acknowledge the day, honoring their dead on separate days until after World War I (when the holiday changed from honoring just those who died fighting in the Civil War to honoring Americans who died fighting in any war). It is now celebrated in almost every State on the last Monday in May (passed by Congress with the National Holiday Act of 1971 (P.L. 90 - 363) to ensure a three day weekend for Federal holidays), though several southern states have an additional separate day for honoring the Confederate war dead: January 19 in Texas, April 26 in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and Mississippi; May 10 in South Carolina; and June 3 (Jefferson Davis' birthday) in Louisiana and Tennessee.

Other Resources

Moina Bell Michael: the Idea for the Flanders Fields Memorial Poppy
Memorial Day Calendar
Memorial Day History
How to Observe Memorial Day
Buddy Poppy
The Story Behind the Poppy
Please share this on your LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and other social media networks you enjoy! Thanks!


  1. I always loved McCraw's "In Flander's Field" but wasn't aware of the "Poppy Lady," until I read your post. Interesting to know.

  2. Memorial Day is a great day to celebrate our heroes.

  3. Very nice blog post about one of my favorite holidays.

  4. Interesting to learn about the Poppy Lady, Moina Michael.

  5. I agree, we need to keep on honoring and celebrating and never forget about all of our fallen and living heroes.

  6. Ditto, let’s not forget to celebrate our heroes and the meaning and importance of Memorial Day. Great blog commemorating Memorial Day. Thanks!