By Lynn Herb of the Week for 25th April
Poppy Day by Lynn Kirkland
Poppies are symbolic to many people around the world.
Here in New Zealand they are of course associated with today, Anzac Day.
they are a symbol of Armistice Day which is the 11th of November.
A historical day indeed, when on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918 World War One ended.
My father remembers when they sold silk poppies in England. There were small ones for a penny and then bigger ones to put on the bonnet of a car which ranged from sixpence to two and six for a large poppy for a flash car. The money was for the Earl Hague fund to assist families who had lost men in the war.
In America poppies are associated with Veterans Day.
Wherever and whenever they are worn it is as a sign of remembrance for those who lost their lives fighting for freedom. The Flanders poppies are symbolic of the blood spilt on the battlefields of Flanders in France and how the fields which were the scene of this deadly battle came to life with the flowering of the scarlet poppies.
Our photo shows a young Italian boy playing in a field of scarlet poppies which grow wild in many places in Europe. He is revelling in the freedom of his life and at his age no doubt blissfully unaware of the horrors of war that went before in his country.
Personally our family has wonderful connections with Italy
which began when my father fought with the Allies against the Axis forces of which
Italy was part of.
This changed when Italy capitulated and Italians became the brave people who sheltered my father for six months when he was an escaped POW.
The Manessi family and their descendents have become our Italian family and the village of Gaina where Dad lived in the war is part of our lives.
This wartime connection has grown into a lifelong friendship and our families will always be united.
So from a time of war with brutality and horror has come a linking of two families and two places making the poppy is a symbol of remembrance and a gratitude to the people who were so brave and risked so much for the hope of a brighter future.