On behalf of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6908, we want to thank all the citizens and civic organizations of Johnson County that contributed to this year’s successful Poppy Fund Drive. More than $2400 was donated, every cent of which will be used to assist Johnson County veterans or family members.
For thos that are unaware, the poppy symbol for the fund drive comes from World War One, when a Canadian army doctor, Lt. Col. John McCrae, having just buried a close friend killed in action, sat for a time on an ambulance and wrote what became the most celebrated and noteworthy poem of the period … “In Flanders Fields.”
The poem commemorates allied soldiers that had died, and would die, in the cause of liberty. Curiously, Col. McCrae, dissatisfied with his poem, discarded it. Fortunately, an assistant retrieved the poem and sent it to a London magazine. Sadly, like his poem’s fallen brethren, Col. McCrae too did not survive the war. In his honor and all those that have perished over the years in the cause of liberty, here is his self-written epitaph.
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 Scare heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,Loved and were Loved, and now we lie in Flanders Fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe;To you from failing hands we throw the torch;
Be yours to hold it high
If ye break faith with us who die.
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders Fields.
Richard L. Dionne
VFW Post 6908 Trustee