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 — John McCrae
Creston Mayor Steve Wintermute has proclaimed Saturday to be Poppy Days in Creston.
“It’s been done for years,” Wintermute said. “It supports the Veterans. It’s something that needs to be done.”
During World War I, fighting across Europe destroyed the landscape, tearing up fields and plants, leaving bare, scarred earth. Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, a Canadian surgeon spotted clusters of red poppies growing in the aftermath of battle and penned the poem “In Flanders Fields” to remember the fallen, including a personal friend Lieutenant Alexis Helme.
On opposite sides of the Atlantic Ocean, two women, Moina Michael in the U.S. and Anna Guerin in France, separately began campaigns to make and sell poppy flowers to fund support for veterans and and restoration efforts.
In 1920, the National American Legion chose the bright red flower as its symbol. Poppy Days is often observed in May in conjunction with Memorial Day, but the flower has been adopted as a symbol of the price living veterans have paid for peace as well as an emblem for the fallen and, so is being held during Veterans Day weekend in Creston.
WHEREAS, in the battlefields of Belgium during World War I, poppies grew wild amid the ravages of war;
WHEREAS, the overturned soils of battle enabled the poppy seeds to be covered, allowing them to grow and forever serve as a reminder of the bloodshed of war;
WHEREAS, the poppy is a symbol of the price of war and the sacrifice of millions;
WHEREAS, the poppy is worn in honor of the millions of Americans who have willingly served and who are currently serving our nation, all too many of whom have made the ultimate sacrifice;
WHEREAS, the poppy also honors the hospitalized and disable veterans who make these red, handcrafted flowers;
WHEREAS, the Veterans of Foreign Wars joins the nation in paying tribute to all those dedicated people who served their country in time of war, especially those who are disabled;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Steve Wintermute, Mayor of Creston, Iowa, do hereby proclaim Saturday, November 9, 2019, as Poppy Days in Creston, Iowa.