The red poppy or the Flanders Poppy has long been an iconic image that symbolises the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, it is the focus of out thought and memories of all the soldiers and civilians that have lost their lives from all nations in all conflicts.
The poppy became the symbol of peace and remembrance during the Napoleonic Wars when poppies were the first plant to grow in the churned up soil of soldiers’ graves in the area of Flanders. The connection was re-established during the First World War once more in the trenches of Flanders, when the poppies bloomed in spring, in the churned up fields of conflict and in the shell craters of the battlefields, once again symbolising ressurection.
Today the proceeds of the poppy sales helps to keep the overseas war cemeteries in pristine condition in honour of the fallen.
Lest we forget.
If I should die, think only this of me:
That there’s some corner of a foreign field
That is for ever England. There shall be
In that rich earth a richer dust concealed;
A dust whom England bore, shaped, made aware,
Gave, once, her flowers to love, her ways to roam,
A body of England’s, breathing English air,
Washed by the rivers, blest by suns of home.
And think, this heart, all evil shed away,
A pulse in the eternal mind, no less
Gives somewhere back the thoughts by England given;
Her sights and sounds; dreams happy as her day;
And laughter, learnt of friends; and gentleness,
In hearts at peace, under an English heaven.