I love poppies. My mother grew them in our yard in Michigan while I was growing up. My artist sister recently gifted me with a gorgeous painting of an orange poppy in full bloom. But my most vivid memory of poppies as a child was this:
My father, a WWII veteran, came home from town and he had a red paper poppy pinned to his lapel, which he removed and set on his dresser. I wanted to see it. When I asked him what it was he got a little upset. First he said someone running for political office handed them out (I did see a name on a white label attached to the flower.) Persistent child that I was, I asked "why?" My father took a deep breath and told me – "It is to remind us of Flanders Field." "What was Flanders Field?" Another deep breath. "There's a famous poem about that, what happened during WW I" (my father's favorite uncle served as a medic in that war). "What does that have to do with poppies?" Finally he blurted out – it reminds us of all the blood that was spilled to keep us free, to remember all those young men who died.
For all those who gave their lives that we might live in freedom, let us remember them to our Creator and give thanks for their sacrifices for us.