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May 30, 2010


memorial day – the origins

by Andrea O'Connell

It is likely that Memorial Day had many separate origins. Many towns and cities either planned or had spontaneous public gatherings that focused on honoring those who died in battle.

These humble beginnings grew into a recognition that we humans need to honor our fallen heroes.

Memorial Day was originally called Decoration Day in response to decorating the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery.

Although it is difficult to pinpoint what state could lay claim to the birth of Memorial Day, (there are quite a few stories as to its origin), the day is generally attributed to having its first observance on the 30th of May, 1868.   (

To honor this day, I want to share the poem Flanders Field with you.  I hope you enjoy it and the photography.

In Flanders Fields
by John McCrae, 1915.

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.

A lovely poem by Moina Michael was written in response to Flanders Field:

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.

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2 Comments Post a comment
  1. auntdeedee
    May 30 2010

    Beautiful words and beautiful photography. My red poppies are blooming in my yard and it always reminds me of Flanders Field and those veterans who hand out paper red poppies to people going into stores to shop during this holiday of remembrance.

    Did you take the photos? 😀

  2. Andrea
    May 30 2010

    Hi Auntdeedee and thank you. Yup, I took the photos yesterday at Butterfly World. It’s a magical place that is filled with so many varieties of butterflies and birds…. so lovely. I love to go there…nature is my favorite thing to photograph.

    I remember the poppies, too, now that you mention it!

    So glad yours are bloomin! Oh, it must be a lovely sight! Ah, flowers…love em’!


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