West Seattle Memorial Day: Poppies, in remembrance

Thanks to Gay for sharing the photo of Shirley, taken today outside West Seattle Thriftway (WSB sponsor) in Morgan Junction. Gay explains that Shirley “has been making/selling poppies for The American Legion since she was a little girl in the 1940’s.” The American Legion Auxiliary Poppy Program, collecting donations for disabled/hospitalized veterans, dates back to 1921 and is explained here.

P.S. For a traditional way to commemorate Memorial Day, be at Forest Lawn Cemetery (6701 30th SW; WSB sponsor) at 2 pm tomorrow. It’s usually not long – 35 minutes last year – but it’s presented by West Seattle’s American Legion Post 160, and always stirring.

4 Replies to "West Seattle Memorial Day: Poppies, in remembrance"

  • ~~HockeyWitch~~ May 27, 2012 (10:02 pm)

    Thank you Shirley for making and selling the poppies. I used to help me grandpa make them when he was in the VA when I was a little girl. I try to get them every year, but the last few years its been harder for me to find them.. I have a bouquet of them from years past. Hope she will be back at Thriftway tomorrow.. would love to stop by and get some.

  • SRH May 27, 2012 (10:50 pm)

    Thanks for this. I always look for the poppies each year. They make me think of my grandpa who has been gone for almost 20 years now.

  • norsk girl May 28, 2012 (6:06 am)


    As a kid, I remember seeing older folks outside the grocery store-bedecked in uniform and standing proudly, selling red crepe remembrance poppies. Rarely now do I see this. The symbolism of the red poppy seems so foreign to many. And even to some, a nonsense.

    Thank you for posting this and helping make known where we can get the poppy, as well as their symbolism (via the informative link and lovely, sad “Flanders Field” poem. ) And thank you Shirley for your time and dedication to the fallen lest they forever be fogotten.

    I have a poppy on the rear-view mirror of my car. So vivid red when it catches the sun. It often stimulates interesting, educational and sentimental conversation when people ask after it.

    This weekend I’ll be traveling to an old country cemetery where my family has multigeneration plots. I’ll plant flags, place poppies, say a prayer, and whisper a thanks. I remember.

    This is another lovely and heartbreaking WW1 poem. Like “Flanders Field”, if you have not read it I encourage you to do so. Really read it. With your heart.

    “For the Fallen” by Laurence Binyon

    With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children,
    England mourns for her dead across the sea.
    Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of her spirit,
    Fallen in the cause of the free.

    Solemn the drums thrill: Death august and royal
    Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres.
    There is a music in the midst of desolation
    And a glory that shines upon our tears.

    They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
    Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
    They were staunch to the end against odds uncountered:
    They fell with their faces to the foe.

    They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
    Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
    At the going down of the sun and in the morning
    We will remember them.

    They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;
    They sit no more at familiar tables at home;
    They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
    They sleep beyond England’s foam.

    But where our desires are and our hopes profound,
    Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
    To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
    As the stars are known to the Night;

    As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,
    Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain;
    As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
    To the end, to the end they remain.

  • AJP May 28, 2012 (3:03 pm)

    Thank you! I was able to get one at Fred Meyer on Saturday, from two adorable WWII vets. I was so glad to be able to thank them in person for their service.

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