Wednesday, November 11, 2015

We must remember to never forget!

John McCrae, a Canadian physician, composed the poem, "In Flanders Fields" on May 3, 1915, during the second battle of Ypres, Belgium. The poem was written, as a reaction to the death of one of his closest friends. According to Wikipedia, "The poem and poppy are prominent Remembrance Day symbols throughout the Commonwealth of Nations, particularly in Canada, where "In Flanders Fields" is one of the nation's best-known literary works. The poem also has wide exposure in the United States, where it is associated with Memorial Day."
As a child, I was asked to memorize, and recite this poem, during many of my early school years. It's one that I still remember, word-for-word, and promise to never forget! I will also never forget the meaning, as my mother's brother, Robert (who I never knew), was shot and killed by sniper fire, on December 27, 1943, during the battle of Ortona, Italy. Uncle Robert's effects, when returned to the family, apparently contained a Dear John Letter (from his fiance), a simple diamond engagement ring, and a metal and enamel necklace. The necklace and ring are in my possession, and the necklace, is something that I've wondered about for years. Was it made for a woman or a child (it's very small)? What type of metal is it (no marks)? How old is it? Who made it, and who was the intended recipient? Unfortunately, a mystery that will never get solved, at least to my satisfaction. Sigh!
The red poppy is a symbol of remembrance, that quite obviously, still strikes a chord, with people around the world. A virtual tide of red poppies, has flooded the internet over the last few days, with far more to come today! Poppies have been made into jewellery, with many and varied techniques. They've also been well represented in photography, crochet, knitting, felting, collage, painting, fibre art, bead embroidery, glass and polymer clay. While I don't remember my original design motivation, one of my earlier bead journal pieces, does include some fibre poppies. However, as it was not specifically made to honour our warriors, perhaps it's time for me, to create a larger, more important, work of remembrance!
Our countries were built on the sacrificies of our brave men and women of the military. A fact that we should never, ever forget!!

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