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.
by John McCrae, Canadian military doctor and artillery commander, May 1915
On eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1918, the First World War ended.
An American War Secretary, Moina Michael, inspired by the poem of John McCrae, began selling poppies to friends to raise money for the ex-Service community.
After four years, in 1922, Major George Howson, a young infantry officer, formed the Disabled Society to help disabled ex-Service men and women from the First World War.
He suggested to the Legion that members of the Disabled Society could make poppies, and the Poppy Factory was subsequently founded in Richmond (London) in 1922.
Nowadays, in Britain, poppies are a symbol. The Poppy Appeal is a national campaign in United Kingdom to get money for the Armed Forces family. It takes place every year from the last week of October until Remembrance Sunday, which is the second Sunday in November, or 11th of November, whichever is later in the calendar.
You can find Lapel poppies in shops, supermarkets, pubs and clubs and it is curious when you realize that everyone is wearing one on their coat.
This year it was celebrated on Monday 11th of November, as always at 11 o’clock, when many people met at Trafalgar Square, in London, to keep two minutes of silence. Silence to remember all those British who have died in the war, “who have given their lives for the peace and freedom we enjoy today”, this is the declaration from The Royal British Legion.
This is not a joke. Last year The Poppy Appeal raised 35 millions of pounds.
Can you imagine this kind of campaigns in Spain? I would say no. Reasons? Many. First one: Spain remained neutral at First World War. Second: we aren’t a very “obsessed” country by army.
Anyway it would be great to raise 35 millions of euros to help all people who are suffering health or economic problems in our country. We could start The Carnation Appeal. What’s your opinion about it?
At least, it would be more helpful that other measures of our government.