This we cannot put aside

Body

We have had to give up a lot during this pandemic, whether it has been our gathering with our church family, or our sports or just meeting freely with loved ones.

But service men and women and their families have been giving up exponentially more since the dawn of our nation, and in this time of sheltering from traditions and normal activities, we need to pause and remember why we celebrate Memorial Day.

Our fallen soldiers are the very heart of America. While we have struggled to keep our economies and lives afloat during this time, we are only here to make those efforts because of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.

In addition to wearing our daily masks, we should consider wearing a poppy as well this weekend to remember those brave soldiers.

Grant-Reeves Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7720 in Cornelia will be selling poppies in the parking lot of the post (423 VFW Post Road) today from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday, May 23, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Poppies became the official flower of The American Legion in 1920. According to The American Legion’s website, “Scientists attributed the growth to soils in France and Belgium becoming enriched with lime from the rubble left by the war. From the dirt and mud grew a beautiful red poppy. The red poppy came to symbolize the blood shed during battle following the publication of the wartime poem ‘In Flanders Fields,’ by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, M.D. while serving on the front lines.”

Here is an excerpt from McCrae’s poem:

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.

The poppies benefit the relief fund that is used to assist local veterans and their families such as purchasing groceries and gas, pay utility bills, repairing vehicles and more. The COVID-19 crisis has drained funds available to the VFW for all the good works they do.

Let’s not forget those who have fallen, nor those who still need our help today more than ever. It was the sacrifice of those patriots that allows us to live in the greatest country the world has ever known.