Every Picture Tells A Story.

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Most of you know that I am a Canadian citizen and lived there until age ten when our family moved to the States after my father was transferred with Ford Motor Company.

While I have never been very much of a history buff,  I do enjoy seeing those sepia-toned or black-and-white images of significant past historical events.  I believe the phrase “every picture tells a story” is more than just a song title – looking at those vintage pictures or the daguerreotype images helps you to understand what life was like back in the pioneer days or Lincoln’s presidency and the Civil War.  We’ve gained great insight by viewing the images featured across social media this week as we close in on the centennial of the end of The Great War – World War I.

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When I was a young girl, in the days preceding November 11th, or “Remembrance Day” as we referred to it in Canada, Mom would pin a red felt poppy onto my coat lapel.  That poppy had a black felt circle and the center was attached to a straight pin.  It looked like this.

POPPY

Mom explained that the red represented the blood shed by Canadian soldiers and the black represented death and we wore our poppies proudly in remembrance of the many soldiers that lost their lives.  Mom always used a safety pin to secure the poppy tightly to my coat lapel so it did not get knocked off in the school cloakroom.  At school, once the morning bell rang, we put our hands over our hearts and sang “God Save the Queen” and we repeated a short prayer after our teacher, who then gave us a history lesson on war and why we honor our heroes.  That was a long time ago – for me, more than a half century ago.

I don’t remember what happened to my original poppy but I had it for years.  I got another one made of a plastic material that I bought from a double-amputee veteran who was sitting in a wheelchair, on a street corner in downtown Detroit.  It was a very cold day in November.  He was selling poppies he had made.  He was wearing his military hat and had medals attached to an old navy pea coat and a wool plaid blanket covering over his lap and his stumps.  I remember he thanked me and I thanked him for his service.  I wonder where that veteran is now?  I still have my poppy in my drawer.  Do veterans still pass out poppies on street corners in the business district these days?  I haven’t worked in downtown Detroit since 2003.

There was some confusion about Veterans Day when we moved here because on Remembrance Day, November 11th, it was an occasion to honor the war dead – over here, the occasion to honor the war dead is Memorial Day, with Veterans Day, also November 11th, a time to commemorate living U.S. Armed Forces military veterans.  It was the opposite of what we had always known.

I’m still fascinated by how poppies are used in remembrance of those heroes and that is why I enjoyed looking at the photos by British blogger Andy Finnegan about a trip to see the wave of poppies on display at Fort Nelson.  I told Andy that I passed Flanders Field in a train enroute from London to Germany many years ago.  While I am sorry I didn’t stop at this memorial, what I really would like to see is this wave of poppies that Andy has photographed at the Tower of London.  I asked Andy if I could share his posts about the poppies in advance of the centennial event this Sunday and he was happy for me to do so.  So this is a double treat:  first the recent post in April 2018 visiting Fort Nelson’s poppy display, then be sure to check out the second link embedded in the Fort Nelson post about the poppies at the Tower of London.  Please click here

I’m sure you’ll agree that every picture tells a story.

 

Photos depicting “Flanders Fields” a famous poem about World War I written by Canadian Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae and a Remembrance Day Poppy from the Royal Canadian Legion are from Pinterest.

Headlines from “The Detroit Free Press” are from the Lincoln Park Historical Museum Facebook Site

 

About lindasschaub

This is my first blog and I enjoy writing each and every post immensely. I started a walking regimen in 2011 and decided to create a blog as a means of memorializing the people, places and things I see on my daily walks. I have always enjoyed people watching, and so my blog is peppered with folks I meet, or reflections of characters I have known through the years. Often something piques my interest, or evokes a pleasant memory from my memory bank, and this becomes a “slice o’ life” blog post that day. I respect and appreciate nature and my interaction with Mother Nature’s gifts is also a common theme. Sometimes the most-ordinary items become fodder for points to ponder over and touch upon. My career has been in the legal field and I have been a legal secretary for over three decades, primarily working in downtown Detroit, and now working from my home. I graduated from Wayne State University with a degree in print journalism in 1978, although I’ve never worked in that field. I like to think this blog is the writer in me finally emerging!! Walking and writing have met and shaken hands and the creative juices are flowing once again in Walkin’, Writin’, Wit & Whimsy – hope you think so too.
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14 Responses to Every Picture Tells A Story.

  1. Shelley says:

    Very interesting – I learned a few new things about the poppy – thanks for sharing. I’ll think of you when I buy a poppy from a veteran this year.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      I had learned that story from my mom and in school in Canada and I heard it again this week in advance of tomorrow’s celebration, so it was a trigger to write this post. I decided to use Andy’s post which I had admired back in April and make a tribute post to the centenary. I have not seen a veteran selling poppies in years, but my boss and I moved a mile away from the downtown business district 15 years ago and I haven’t been to a mall in ages. They don’t even have a ceremony for Veteran’s Day in Memorial Park which is near my house – they do have a parade and a ceremony for Memorial Day however.

      Like

  2. I remember the veterans selling poppies after mass at my church for both Memorial Day and Veterans Day.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Laurie says:

    I never knew the difference between Veterans’ Day and Remembrance Day before. Thank you for explaining! There is still a vererans’ association that sells poppies every year at our local grocery store. I still have some of my poppies I bought from them in a container on my dresser.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      That’s good to know Laurie as I’ve not seen any veterans since my boss and I left the Firm in downtown Detroit and moved a mile down the road out of the central business district. I don’t get to the mall much now either, so it’s been years. I never knew there was a distinction and I had written about several local servicemen who lost their lives (one in Iraq and the other was not on active duty, but still in the military and temporarily based in Texas, and was killed on his motorcycle by a drunk driver). So I wrote about these two young men and was told that Veteran’s Day is strictly for the living. I was shocked as Remembrance Day is a very solemn holiday in Canada … still is, as it is in Europe.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Lots of celebrations here in Canada tomorrow…..every town or city or village with a Legion has something planned for tomorrow, a march to the cenotaph to lay a wreath or a bigger celebration in an arena, and the veterans were in front of all the grocery stores selling poppies all week.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      I am glad to hear that Joan – it was a momentous occasion and here in the U.S. I felt it was very low key although my City did have a ringing of a very large bell from Goodell School, long since razed, but that particular bell happens to be exactly 100 years old. The veterans selling the poppies that you saw – do they still make them themselves? Are your poppies still felt for both parts? The ones that I’ve bought here are plastic with a flocking on them and they crumpled easily. I still have the last one I bought in my drawer.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. What a fascinating and lovely story!

    Liked by 1 person

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