In England I grew up with Poppy Day. Leading up to Remembrance Sunday paper poppies were sold in remembrance of those killed in the World Wars. Wherever you would go people would be wearing their poppies with pride. It was an unspoken ‘I remember’.
This symbol of remembrance comes from the poem In Flanders Field. The poem describes a field in Flanders, France where soldiers were buried. Between the crosses on the graves, poppies grew. The brilliant red poppy reminds us of the blood freely given by these brave men and women. Their sacrifice is our legacy today.Amongst these in World War I were three of my great Uncles. Benjamin Harris, William Johnson and Johnny Hill. They left their homeland, England, never to return. Both my grandfathers served too. I remember as a little girl maybe four years old sitting on my Pompa’s lap and him telling me stories of fighting and being in a big hole. Later I was to realize that he spoke of being in the trenches in France. These were quiet whispered moments and I wonder if he ever spoke of these to others. The war left him traumatized and attached to his cigarettes. Nicotine stained his fingers. But isn’t it amazing to think that I had this moment with him? A moment that transports me back in time almost 100 years. I love time travel and I think writing our life stories is a way to make time travel possible.
Think of those who have served in your family to protect our freedom. Honor them by recording what you know.