Remembrance Day Poppies

I love the poppy tradition. As a naturalized Canadian citizen, I embraced this cultural observation of respect that’s simultaneously a common denominator with other countries with World War I experiences.

While I was in Edinburgh this summer, I visited the National War Museum at Edinburgh Castle. I was fascinated by the Global Remembrance poppy exhibit. My interest was many-fold – historical, cultural (hey, Anthropology degree here), and educational.

Cultural Observances

Look at all these cool flowers used during observance of Remembrance Day from around the world. Unfortunately, I didn’t capture 1. Scotland 2. England, Wales, and Northern Ireland in my photo.

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3. France 4. Belgium 5. Ukraine 6. USA 7. Canada 8. Newfoundland 9. Australia 10. New Zealand

Female Influence

I had a particular sense of satisfaction to learn about the role that women played in the launch of this tradition. The two women most responsible are Moina Michael and Anna Guerin. The images below captured during my visit to the castle museum detail their efforts.

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Like many others, I have family members who have served, though I’m not aware of any who served in World War I.  I wear my red poppy prominently for most of the month of November and I love seeing other poppies throughout my day.  The veterans are on full display as well, wearing their uniforms and raising money and awareness.

11th Day, 11th Hour

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Canadian artillery field surgeon and poet, John McCrea, is best known for his famous poem, In Flanders’ Field. Here is the poem in its entirety on display at the museum as printed in 1918 by the Heliotype Co. Ltd. Ottawa to commemorate the death of the poet.

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