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We Shall Keep the Faith – Memorial Day Thoughts

The poem, “We Shall Keep the Faith” was penned by Moina Michael in November 1918 in response to her inspiration of the poem, “In Flanders Fields” written earlier that year by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae.   Ms Michael made a personal pledge to “keep the faith” and hastily penned her response in poetic form on the back of a used envelope.  From that day she vowed to wear a red poppy as a sign of remembrance.

In 1922 the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) became the first veterans’ organization to sell the poppies.  In 1948 the United States Post Office honored Ms Michael for her role in founding the National Poppy movement by issuing a red 3-cent stamp with her likeness on it.

We Shall Keep the Faith

Moina Michael

Oh! You who sleep in Flanders Fields,
Sleep sweet – to rise anew!
We caught the torch you threw
And holding high, we keep the Faith
With All who died.

We cherish, too, the poppy red
That grows on fields where valor led;
It seems to signal to the skies
That blood of heroes never dies,
But lends a luster to the red
Of the flower that blooms above the dead
In Flanders Fields.

And now the Torch and Poppy Red
We wear in honor of our dead.
Fear not that we have died for naught;
We’ll teach the lesson that ye wrought
In Flanders Fields.

Memorial Day 2011 is Coming

Another Memorial Day is almost upon us.  Many people view Memorial Day as the annual passage from Spring to Summer.  Memorial Day often means boating, beaches, and sunburns.

The true origination of Memorial Day is often forgotten in the hubbub of summertime fun.   Memorial Day, which was originally called Decoration Day, is a holiday that was established as a day of remembrance for those who have died in service to our nation.

Various cities and towns claim to have been the birthplace of Memorial Day.  President Lyndon B. Johnson officially declared Waterloo, New York the birthplace of Memorial Day in 1966.  Below is an accepted timeline of the history of Memorial Day: