Wednesday, May 24, 2017

In Honor of National Poppy Week

(Image from the Internet)

The American Legion launched National Poppy Week this month (22 May through 28 May) as a way to honor fallen U.S. service members, from battlefields of France a century ago to today's global war on terrorism.

After WWI, the poppy flourished in Europe. Scientists attributed the growth to the soils in France and Belgium becoming enriched with lime from the rubble left by the war. From the dirt and mud grew beautiful poppies. The red poppy came to symbolize the blood shed during the battle following the publication of the wartime poem "In Flanders Fields". The poem was written by Canadian Lieutenant Colonel John McCrea, M.D. while serving on the front lines.

(Image from the Internet)

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.

National Poppy Day occurs annually on the Monday before Memorial Day and Memorial Day is a scared holiday in the United States. It is a time when we pause, reflect and honor those who have died keeping America and democracy safe.

A few weeks ago, The Colonel asked me to create three poppies out of some wood he had in the garage. I took the three panels of wood and drew my interpretation of a poppy on each one. We then took the panels to my Favorite Father-In-Law's garage to use his band saw to cut out the poppies and his belt sander to smooth the edges. Once the poppies were cut and sanded we took them back home.

The Colonel and I bought some poppy-colored spray paint and I used it to put a base coat on each wooden poppy. Once that dried, I mixed other paints to add highlights, definition and a pistil to the flowers. I was pleased with the results as was The Colonel.

One wooden poppy was given to my Favorite Father-In-Law so that he could display it on his house for National Poppy Week, one was taken to the Blanchard House Museum for the same reason and then we kept the last one for our own house's display.


  1. A wonderful way to remember those that died during the service to this great country! Jenn