Thanks Pop, with love always

Thanksgiving is a day when we pause to give thanks for the things we have.
Veteran’s day is a day when we pause to give thanks to the people who fought for the things we have.

I wanted a VW Bug for years. They are round and compact and tweak memories of my teen years. One month before my Father died at the age of 93 he bought me a VW Bug: Brand new, white with a beige interior and a little plastic vase to hold a flower right next to the steering wheel.

My Father was a World War II veteran. Every year he would buy red poppies from The Veteran of Foreign Wars and American Legion Auxiliary volunteers who gave them out for contributions for disabled and hospitalized veterans and their families.

I hadn’t seen or thought about poppies in years until 2 months after Dad died. Outside the grocery store an elderly man was selling poppies. I gave him a donation and received a poppy. Since then it has shared space in the little plastic vase in the Bug my Dad gave me.

A brief history of the artificial poppy

In the World War I battlefields of Belgium, poppies grew wild. The overturned soils of battle enabled the poppy seeds to be covered, allowing them to grow and to forever serve as a reminder of the bloodshed during that and future wars. The poppy movement was inspired by the poem “In Flanders Fields” written in 1915 by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae of the Canadian forces in 1915 before the United States entered World War I

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.

By 1918 the poem was well known throughout the allied world. Moina Michael, an American woman, wrote these lines in reply.
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.

She then adopted the custom of wearing a red poppy in memory of the sacrifices of war and also as a symbol of keeping the faith.

The poppy became a nationally known and recognized symbol of sacrifice and is worn to honor the men and women who served and died for their country in all wars.

Here’s to you Dad! Thanks for fighting for us,

all your life.

(This is a repost from a few years back)

4 comments on “Thanks Pop, with love always

  1. Thank you for sharing this…I always had a red poppy on the hinge of the visor in my car,
    and realized this year, when I traded cars, the poppy stayed with the car. I looked for someone selling poppies and there was a kind elderly vet at the exit door of a local grocery store so I have 3 poppies in order to have spares.

    Since a friend told me that no one seems to remember vets any more… tho I think it is improving in my area, I have taken it upon myself to shake the hand of vets wearing their caps with service embroidery or getting out of or returning to a car with a special plate on it… I ask if they were the serviceman first and then thank them with a shake of the hand.
    I notice that if they are with a wife or adult child, or grandchildren, they always smile with pride.

    Thanks for two wonderful posts this Veteran’s Day. And thank you for sharing your dad’s stories.



  2. I always wanted a VW Beetle too, but yellow of course and not the new “man” Beetle. I think it’s so interesting that Maureen, you and I wrote about out Dad’s. Mine not for Veteran’s day but all the love is there. Cheers to dad’s and their girls, everywhere!


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