Poppies, Ieper

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  • Poppies at Menin Gate Memorial.
    Poppies at Menin Gate Memorial.
    by breughel
  • Poppy
    Poppy
    by breughel
  • Poppies are used to remember the dead.
    Poppies are used to remember the dead.
    by tompt
  • breughel's Profile Photo

    Coquelicots dans la nature.

    by breughel Written Apr 30, 2007

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    Coquelicots - Klaproosjes

    Dans tout le monde anglophone ayant participé à la "Grande Guerre" le coquelicot, klaproosje en néerlandais, poppy en anglais, est le symbole qui honore les vétérans de guerre 1914-18.

    Dans la nature, cependant, "papaver rhoeas" est une plante annuelle qui pousse dans les champs où il constitue une mauvaise herbe, au bord des routes ou dans les terrains vagues en situation chaude. Le coquelicot est une plante qui pousse dans les moissons et il donne toute sa valeur décorative lorsqu'il fleurit en masse parmi les épis de céréales, mais pour l'agriculteur c'est une "mauvaise herbe".

    En fait le coquelicot s'est développé en masse sur les champs de bataille des Flandres parce que le sol limoneux constamment retourné par l'explosion des obus était favorable à cette plante colonisatrice de ces sols arrachés à l'agriculture par la guerre. Le coquelicot était la première plante à repousser sur ces sols martyrisés par la guerre. Sa couleur rouge sang en fit le symbole des morts qu'il recouvrait.

    Le coquelicot n'est en rien spécifique des champs de bataille des Flandres, il pousse naturellement ailleurs et il fait l'objet de cultures florales sur d'autres continents. L'inconvénient des coquelicots comme fleur décorative est qu'elles se fanent très rapidement après leur coupe. D'où la naissance d'une quasi industrie du coquelicot artificiel qui est celui présent lors des commémorations de la Grande Guerre.

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  • breughel's Profile Photo

    The poppy, symbol of the sacrifice.

    by breughel Updated Jun 25, 2013

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    Poppies at Menin Gate Memorial.

    The sight of the poppies on the battlefield at Ypres in 1915 moved Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, of the Canadian forces, to write a poem starting with:

    In Flanders’ Fields the poppies blow
    Between the crosses, row on row,

    He died in the last year of the war and never new the impact his poem caused.

    An American woman, Moina Michael started making hand made cloth poppies to wear in remembrance of the war on Armistice Day (eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month).
    Making replicas of the original Flanders' poppy and selling them in favour of the veterans spread in some of the allied countries immediately after the Armistice.
    Armistice Day came to be known as “Poppy Day” in many countries such as the UK, Canada, Australia, New-Zealand and other Commonwealth nations and in the USA.
    The poppy has become a nationally known and recognized symbol of sacrifice and is worn to honour the men and women who served and died for their country in all wars.

    Actually in Belgium on Armistice Day artificial poppies are less usual. Here people prefer to bring natural flowers to the veteran cemeteries and monuments of WW I. Every town or village has a monument to the victims of the two WW.
    Around the town of Liège you will find on these monuments the names of many civilians, from teenagers to elderly, shoot by the invaders. This killing of civilians in 1914 explains why so many Belgians in 1940 did flee to France but this is another sad story.

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  • breughel's Profile Photo

    Le coquelicot, fleur symbole.

    by breughel Updated May 15, 2008

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    Coquelicots

    Le coquelicot, "poppy" en anglais, est le symbole par excellence qui honore le sacrifice de tous ceux qui ont servi et sont morts pour leur pays pendant les deux guerres mondiales.

    Cette fleur symbole a pris son origine dans le poème écrit par le Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae à Ypres en 1915 à la vue des coquelicots qui avaient envahi le champ de bataille.
    Ce poème débute par

    "IN FLANDERS FIELDS the poppies blow
    Between the crosses row on row, …"

    McCrae qui était chirurgien affecté à une brigade d'artillerie canadienne écrivit ce poème à son poste de secours après la mort d'un ami. John McCrae mourut de ses blessures en mai 1918.

    La tradition du coquelicot artificiel débuta lorsqu'une américaine Moina Michael se mit à faire fabriquer à la main des "poppies" en tissu pour être portées le jour de l'Armistice.
    La tradition de porter un coquelicot en tissu en souvenir des morts de 1914-1918 se répandit particulièrement en Grande Bretagne, les pays du Commonwealth ayant participé à la grande Guerre (Australie, Nouvelle-Zélande et autres), le Canada et les USA.
    Le bénéfice de la vente de coquelicots artificiels était destiné aux vétérans de la guerre. Le jour de l'armistice ou Remembrance Day devint ainsi le “Poppy Day”.

    La manufacture de coquelicots artificiels est toujours active. En Grande Bretagne l'oeuvre de charité "the Royal British Legion" est particulièrement active en matière de "poppies".

    En Belgique lors du 11 Novembre les nombreux monuments aux morts, les "pelouses d'honneur" des cimetières sont plutôt fleuris au moyen de fleurs naturelles.

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  • breughel's Profile Photo

    POPPIES in the nature.

    by breughel Written Apr 30, 2007

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    Poppy

    In the English speaking countries who participated to WW I the poppy became the acknowledged symbol to honour the dead veterans and the members of the armed forces.
    In the nature, however, "the papaver rhoeas" is an annual plant which grows in the fields where it constitutes a weed, at the edge of roads or in waste ground.
    Poppies grow easily from seed, they are known for self-sowing and easily populate the soil to the detriment of the farmers who don't want them in the corn fields even if they are decorative.

    That poppies developed so widely on the battle fields of North France and Flanders is due to the fact that the ground containing lime was overturned by the explosions of shells. The poppy was the first plant to grow again on these farm grounds tortured by the war. For the soldiers the poppies were vivid red from having been nurtured in ground drenched with the blood of their comrades.

    The poppy is not specific of Flanders battlefields, it grows naturally elsewhere and it is the object of floral cultures on other continents. The inconvenience of poppies as ornamental flower is that they fade very quickly after being cut and loose their petals.

    This together with its symbolism explains the large development of the artificial poppy manufacture for the remembrances of the Great War.

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    Red poppies

    by Dabs Written Nov 26, 2006

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    If you head to Ieper in the spring, you may see some of the poppies in the fields of Flanders that were immortalized in the poem In Flanders Fields by Canadian military physician John McCrae. The red poppy, which bloomed across the battlefields of Flanders in WW I, became the symbol of Remembrance Day (also known as Armistice Day) observed on November 11th, the day WWI ended in 1918, to commemorate the sacrifice of veterans and civilians in WW I, WW II and other wars.

    The VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars) in the US also sells poppies but on Memorial Day observed on the last Monday in May instead of Veterans Day on November 11th, a tradition that dates back to 1922.

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    Red Poppies

    by tompt Updated Dec 13, 2004

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    Poppies are used to remember the dead.

    The red poppy became a flower of remembrance to the Great War. The Flanders Fileds were filled with this flowers during the 1914-1918 war. The poem that made them famous is below:

    In Flanders Fields
    by John McCrae, May 1915

    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.

    We are the Dead. Short days ago
    We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
    Loved and were loved, and now we lie
    In Flanders fields.

    Take up our quarrel with the foe:
    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,
    though poppies grow
    In Flanders fields.

    Canadian military doctor Major John McCrae lost his friend Lieutenant Alexis Helmer (killed by a German artillery shell) on 2 May, 1915 near Ypres. It is believed that John began the draft for his famous poem that evening.

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