The Meaning of the Poppy//Forever We’ll Remember

Welcome back to the countdown, everyone! If you missed last year’s, let me tell you a little bit about it.

Growing up, my parents instilled into my siblings and I a deep passion for our country. Every Memorial Day they made sure to sit down with us and explain to us what Memorial Day is, and why we commemorate it. We talked about those that our family had known who died in defense of our nation. It went beyond just Memorial Day though. Throughout the year they bred into us an understanding of why freedom is so precious. It comes with a cost, and is not to be taken lightly.

I credit them with giving me my love for America, and subsequently, all things having to do with freedom. While I don’t like to call Memorial Day a holiday, it is by far one of my favorite days to contemplate and reflect on honoring our nation’s heroes.

When I started this blog, I knew that Memorial Day had to be set apart as something special. Too many people of my generation don’t know or care about what Memorial Day means. We live in a society of ingrates. People are too consumed with their own needs, wants, and desires to be bothered with taking time out of their lives to remember those who have given everything for us.

Every year on Memorial Day, barring any drastic circumstances that can’t be helped, my family and I attend a special ceremony in honor of our fallen. You know what I find heartbreaking about it though? My siblings and I are almost always the only young people there. Most of the other attendees are old enough to be my parents or grandparents.

What does that say about my generation and the ones coming after me?

It says we are ungrateful. It says we have lost sight of the preciousness of freedom, and have become entitled. It says we don’t deserve the freedom that our heroes died to give us.

Yes, I just took my generation and threw it to the wolves. Someone has to say it. We are pathetic.

Who will carry the torch of freedom when the generations before us have passed away? Who will remember them if we don’t?

The mission of this Countdown is to remind the generations—past, present, and future—that freedom brings a cost that has been paid on our behalf. It is to stir the embers of patriotism and gratitude within us again.

Without further ado, let’s jump into Forever We’ll Remember.

Around Memorial Day, you will often see people wearing little red flowers pinned to their clothes.

Most of us are familiar with the WWI poem, In Flanders Fields. It has become well known for its use in Memorial Day commemorations.

But here are some things about poppies in connection with Memorial Day that you may not know.

The colors are significant.

Did you know that the colors in the Poppy hold significant meaning?

Red stands for the blood shed for freedom. During WWI, the battlefields were soaked in the blood of soldiers who fought and died for liberty. It poured out in crimson streams, a sacrifice on freedom’s altar. It bridged the gap between the past generations who had enjoyed liberty’s sweet embrace and the future generations yet unborn. It was a solemn covenant between those who were sacrificing their lives and those who would carry the torch into the future, determined that it would still burn brightly.

When you see a poppy, you should be reminded of the blood shed for you.

The black center of the poppy represents the grief that shatters our hearts. It signifies mourning, brokenness, and pain. It is a symbol of the sorrow felt by all those waiting for a loved one to return, only to embrace a folded flag instead.

Against the crimson coloring of the petals, it is a poignant reminder of the way our hearts feel.

Green, from the leaf and stem, remind us that there is still hope in the midst of pain, because of the freedom our soldier’s died for. Their deaths paid for our lives. In this manner, green offers a glimmer of hope in spite of the grief that consumes us.

They were among the only flowers that grew in the horrors of war.

Have you ever wondered how on earth these delicate looking flowers managed to survive and even thrive among the terrible tragedies of war? I know I have.

But here’s what I found. The answer is actually pretty heart rending.

You see, poppies only grow in fertile freshly-turned soil. They grow best by themselves.

When the fields of France were being destroyed by the bombs and trenches of WWI, it provided the perfect place for poppies to grow. As more and more soldiers fell in the battles and were buried, this only added to the places poppies began to spring up. They popped up from the soil covering the graves. They emerged from the craters left from artillery. They told those who saw them that, even among death and war, beauty can still be found.

In a striking contrast to the ugliness of war, these hardy flowers bloomed. Then as the war continued, soldiers began to fall in fields overflowing with poppies. This is what inspired John McCrae to write In Flanders Fields.

Through this, the tradition of poppies being worn as “remembrance flowers” began.

Memorial Day goes beyond barbecues and get-togethers. It’s a day that we remember, in solemn gratitude, those who paid for our freedom.

Will you join me in wearing a poppy this Memorial Day to commemorate and honor our heroes? As you wear it, remember that freedom is not free.

A. M. Watson

Hebrews 13:8

6 thoughts on “The Meaning of the Poppy//Forever We’ll Remember

  1. I love this post, Tory!! As you know we wear the poppies on 11th of November over here, and I’ve also noticed that no one near my age is doing that (very few older people even are). I 100% agree with what you say… and I really loved reading this post, thank you! I had never given particular thought to the colours of the poppy, I don’t think… and that makes a lot of sense!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you!
      Yes, Rememberance Day, correct? It is sad how few remember. May those who do, vow to never forget.

      Yes, the colors are so vital to remembering. Of course there are many different colors of poppies, but traditionally only the black and red are used, and it’s for a specific reason.

      Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts with me! 💕


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