Poppies


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Students at the Willard Hope Center created poppies for their Veterans Day Dinner in November.

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The first step was to create the stem of the poppy by twisting two pipe cleaners together.

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The next step was to create a fan fold with five sheets of tissue paper.

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Students picked four red and one black sheet of tissue paper to create their poppy.

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Everyone worked hard to create enough poppies for each veteran attending the dinner.

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Everyone learned why poppies have become a symbol of Veterans Day.

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The poppy has a long association with Veterans Day. But how did the distinctive red flower become such a potent symbol of our remembrance of the sacrifices made in past wars?  Scarlet corn poppies grow naturally in conditions of disturbed earth throughout Western Europe. In late 1914 the fields of Northern France and Flanders were ripped open as World War One raged through Europe’s heart. Once the conflict was over the poppy was one of the only plants to grow on the otherwise barren battlefields.

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The significance of the poppy as a lasting memorial symbol to the fallen was realized by the Canadian surgeon John McCrae in his poem “In Flanders Fields.” The poppy came to represent the immeasurable sacrifice made by his comrades and quickly became a lasting memorial to those who died in World War One and later conflicts. Wearing of poppies has been a custom since 1924 in the United States.

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