Memorial Day Service Monday – Bring Flowers
“Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty.”~ John F. Kennedy
Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, and was first observed on 30 May 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. What history tells us though is a much more poignant story of love and loss covered in flowers.
Those who began leaving the flowers on the graves were the women and children that were left behind. What they lovingly did to remember their loved ones also reminded those around them of the sacrifice these men made for our freedom. The tradition of leaving flowers continued year after year in towns all over the country. Lt. Colonel John McCrae, a soldier, physician and poet, wrote a poem called, “In Flanders Fields” after his close friend died next to him in a horrific battle in Canada. Here is an excerpt: “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 …”
In 1915, a woman named Moina Michael replied with her own poem: “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 conceived the idea to wear red poppies on Memorial Day to honor those who died serving the nation during war. She was the first to wear a poppy, and sold them to her friends and co-workers with the money benefitting service men in need.
On a trip to the United States, Madam Guerin from France learned of this new custom. When she returned home, she began selling artificial poppies as well. This tradition spread to other countries. By 1922 the VFW championed this idea and started the “buddy” poppy program that sold artificial poppies all over the nation made by disabled veterans to benefit the widows and orphans left behind by the war.
I would personally like to invite you to join us on Monday for our annual Memorial Day service at 8 a.m. and to bring flowers in memory of those who gave their lives. Your small act of kindness may seem so simple to you but will bring great joy to those who remain. The service is at the Vietnam War Memorial at the northwest corner of Ocean View Boulevard and Honolulu Avenue.
Our June centennial mixer is going to be a “rip-roaring” time. Wells Fargo Bank in Montrose is hosting our western-themed mixer catered by our very own Zeke’s BBQ in Montrose. There will be a live DJ playing all your country favorites, so be sure to dress in your favorite western outfit and join in on the fun. This is a great way to connect with other local business owners in the area and promote your own business. It’s on Wednesday, June 5 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Memorial Day Service on Monday, May 27 at 8 a.m. Vietnam War Memorial, northwest corner of Honolulu Avenue and Ocean View Boulevard.
Centennial June business mixer on Wednesday, June 5 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Wells Fargo, 2434 Honolulu Ave., Montrose.