(image via af.mil)

(image via af.mil)

Honoring the brave men and women in uniform who
have given their lives for our freedom is a long-standing American tradition

In 1971, the U.S. Congress made Memorial Day an official national holiday which is celebrated the last Monday of May every year.

Wearing red poppies on Memorial Day is a very popular tradition, and is symbolic of war-torn battlefields with their promise of recovery and new life as poppies were the first plants to grow following a horrific battle.

In 1915, John McCrae wrote the very popular and poignantly beautiful poem, In Flanders Fields:

“In Flanders field 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.”

Read more on Laurie’s article and watch the live stream at LifeCycles in the Communities Digital News

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