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“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.”

From 1914 to 1918, Flanders Fields in Waregem, Belgium was a major battleground in the First World War. Millions of soldiers from more than 30 countries were wounded, missing or killed in action.

While serving as a brigade surgeon, Canadian Colonel John McCrae took note of a hardy little flower pushing through the war-torn battlefield. Clusters of these bright red poppies inspired McCrae to write a poem he entitled, “In Flanders Field.” It is told from the perspective of the fallen soldiers buried beneath the poppies. The first stanza of the poem is above.

That resilient flower became the national emblem of remembrance in 1920.  As Memorial Day approaches, red poppies begin to appear. Often made of fabric or crepe paper, you see them pinned on lapels on the left side over the heart. Volunteers of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) hand out red poppies in exchange for donations to support the country’s veterans and their families. This year, honor those we’ve lost in battle.  Help veterans’ families by adding a poppy pinned to your Memorial Day attire.

Harbor Hills will celebrate Memorial Day with a member golf tournament and cookout. Festivities include an early dedication, an 8 a.m. shotgun start and a 12:30 p.m. barbeque. Villagers receive a special Memorial Day price that includes golf and lunch for $56.00. Sign up at 352-753-7711.

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