This Memorial Day weekend, in cities and towns all over America, small red paper flowers will be worn and carried by Americans honoring our veterans.
The paper flowers symbolize the poppies WWI veteran John McCrae wrote about in his famous poem, “In Flanders Field,” after being struck by the beauty of the bright red blooms that emerged from the graves of his fellow soldiers.
But it was a Georgia teacher named Monia Michael who began the tradition of wearing the red flower in remembrance of those who sacrificed their lives to protect our freedoms.
She had read a copy of McCrae’s poem in Ladies Home Journal and then wrote her own poem that said:
Oh! you who sleep in Flanders Fields,
Sleep sweet – to rise anew!
We caught the torch you threw
And holding high, we keep the Faith
With All who died.
Those flowers became her torch. Millions of people, all across the world, have now worn paper poppies to honor the courage of servicemen and servicewomen.
We should all find our own way to carry on the torch of freedom.
May we never forget the lives of each solider; it is their blood that has kept us free. And it is their sacrifice that calls each of us to cherish the gift of liberty.
Please join District 31F in pausing to remember those who have fallen.
We are so grateful that our nation has warriors who defend and protect us from harm.
May God bless you, may God bless North Carolina, and may God bless the United States of America.