Grand Rapids, Michigan's American Legion Post 493 writes on its website, "A bloody battle was fought during World War I in a region called Flanders. The area in France was completely devastated. In the spring of 1919 the poppies still bloomed among the ruins and where the men had fallen in battle. The memory that the soldiers brought home was that of the poppies blooming in the field of blood. The poppy became a symbol of sacrifice of lives during the war and represented the hope that none had died in vain.
A poem was written about the battle in Flanders Fields and the Poppy by Col. John McRae
In part it reads;
In Flander’s fields, the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row
That mark our place…
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…
Today remember those men and women who gave their lives in the service of the nation.
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