It came in the mail from the VFW, just a small square of paper, not even a full page. On one side was printed a painting of a field of red poppies in France. On the other side was printed the poem In Flanders Fields.
On many other days many other pieces of mail, junk mail, had been received and tossed away. There was no value in them to the receiver. But not this piece of mail from the VFW. Its value to the receiver was great.
With a pin it was stuck to the wall above his desk. In this prominent place it could be seen when walking by or sitting down to take care of business.
One day it disappeared from its place on the wall.
Did he notice?
It reappeared as a special gift on Memorial day. The red poppy field painting was now mounted in a wooden frame. Artistically printed below it was his favorite poem In Flanders Fields.
Now the red poppy field, with its accompanying poem, found a new place of prominence. For years the frame of remembrance hung proudly on his living room wall providing a conversation piece for visitors and moments of reflection for him.
In 2007, ownership of this prized possession changed hands. It became mine. In time it will change hands again and be passed to Middle Son.
Middle Son was a partner in framing something of value for a special man who was proud of his country and served it with pride in World War II.
In Flanders Fields
By: Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918)
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
Scarce 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.