Like many English market towns, a standout feature of our high street is the war memorial. Ours is right near the entrance to the Church of St Peter and I regularly walk past when running errands. Right now, it’s absolutely covered in red poppies. There’s a man selling paper poppies in front of the grocery store to benefit the Royal British Legion. The local nursery is selling poppy-themed plant pots and tea towels. This coming Sunday is Remembrance Sunday and 2018 happens to be the centenary of the end of the first world war.
We do observe Veterans Day at home in the US, but it isn’t felt too deeply by most Americans. Kids get the day off of school and banks & post offices are closed. If you try, you can buy a paper poppy for your lapel. Much of the time it’s a little self-serve donation box near the grocery checkout. We tend to focus more on Memorial Day at the end of May, but that’s still more about days off work/school than truly honoring service & sacrifice. Physical distance and now time have sanitized both world wars in a way that hasn’t happened here.
Our front door has been looking rather naked since GingerHubby made me take down the Halloween decorations. Something about Halloween being over for almost a week and the jack-o-lanterns growing mold? I’m not quite ready to go full-on Thanksgiving (we’re celebrating, but will probably skip the turkey part) and thought a poppy wreath would both brighten my spirits and be a fitting tribute to the fallen heroes of my new homeland.
Lest we forget.