Friday, May 26, 2017
What ever happened to the Memorial Day poppy? I'm talking specifically about the Buddy Poppy that the VFW used to sell. Is that still a thing? I haven't seen one of them in years. As a boy, it was an annual rite of Memorial Day, heralding the beginning of summer, along with listening to the Indianapolis 500 broadcast on radio while cooking out in the backyard. Perhaps its the span of years or my location away from the Fox Valley, but I don't see them anymore. I had to Google this photo and learn that, yes, the program does still exist.
So that made me feel better but then I wondered why I hadn't seen them. Are we as Americans so jaded now that all Memorial Day means is an extra long weekend or an increase in bellowing car salesmen on TV extolling their savings events? Or maybe we've sort of made up for it with an increased appreciation for the military since the wars and 9-11. Or does nobody join the VFW anymore, or at least in my area? Whatever the case, it feels different, when I think about it, and as this blog becomes increasingly more and more about memories of the past, I feel depleted by the absence of this boyhood reminder of what I perceive as a more respectful time.
Poppies or not, please give a little thought to those who sacrificed everything for our freedoms as we enjoy the extra long weekend.