Monday, May 28, 2012

Happy Memorial Day! Plant some red poppies or take a garden stroll; remember those who have served...

Memorial Day

The General Meade Society of Philadelphia, in conjunction with the Friends of Laurel Hill Cemetery, and volunteers were just in the news for honoring the nation’s Memorial Day commemoration. My dad (Theodore A. Mehl) is buried at Laurel Hill Cemetery in Philadelphia, PA, a non-sectarian burial place for the dead that happens to be a National Historic Landmark, a title received in 1998. General Meade and thirty-nine other Civil War-era generals reside there, in addition to six Titanic passengers.

Soon after the beginning of the Civil War on August 31th, 1861, Meade, who was a Captain, was made a brigadier general and given command of one of three Pennsylvania brigades. Later he commanded a division in the First Corps, and then went on to command the Fifth Corps. On June 28, 1963, Meade was given command of the Army of the Potomac, which he held until the end of the war. After the disbanding of this army, he was assigned to the Dept. of the Atlantic, headquartered in Philadelphia.

In 1868, Commander in Chief John A. Logan of the grand Army of the Republic issued what was called General Order Number 11, designating May 30 as a memorial day - a day of remembrance for those who have died serving our country. 

General Meade died on November 6th, 1872, and is buried in Laurel Hill Cemetery, Philadelphia.
Of course I like the idea of symbolic red poppies on Memorial day, as well as for Nov. 11th for Remembrance Day, as a symbol to honor those who died serving our nation during war. Red poppies as a symbolic memorial emblem was reinforced by Moina Belle Michael who was inspired by Canadian Military Doctor and Artillery Commander, John McCrae's, 1915 poem "In Flanders Fields." She replied with her own poem in 1918 "We Shall Keep the Faith."

... 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, ...
Related Links: The General Meade Society 
Moina Belle Michael
Memorial Day History
Flanders Field Poppy Papaver rhoeas 
Poppy photo courtesy of Chaosdruid, Wikipedia.

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