Saturday, November 9, 2013

Poppies Keepsake Memorial

Poppies Keepsakes for Veterans Day 

November 11th is Veterans Day in the USA, also known as Remembrance Day in Canada, and it marks the end of World War I, at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918.  With ceremony, parades, and a moment of silence at 11:00am, we reflect on the immense debt of gratitude every one of us owes to our military men and women.  This day not only commemorates those who have given their lives, it honors all who have served their country. Their courage and commitment to protecting our homeland, and indeed the world at large, warrant the deepest respect.


The wearing of the brilliant red poppy at this time of year allows us to display our thanks on our collars, at the same time as making as small tangible donation to elderly veterans, many of whom need financial help in their senior years, or to returning veterans who have encountered difficulty finding work on their return to a declining economy. The purchase of a poppy pin is a small token of appreciation we can confer to them.

There are approximately 21 million veterans in the US.  At roughly 6.7% of the population, chances are that nearly everyone knows a family with a military member.  Many families' war veterans have passed on, and it is important to cultivate gratitude and remembrance among our younger generation.  Whether it's a young person's grandfather who was a hero in World War II, or a family who has lost its son or daughter, brother or sister, father or mother, there are many ways to keep their memory vivid.  A corner of the fireplace mantel is reserved for a gathering of framed photos.  A section of the china cabinet houses military medals of honor.  The flag is flown at half mast in towns and cities for fallen soldiers.

Some families have found comfort in adding a small keepsake to their shrine of remembrance.  At this time of year, keepsake mementos with the pervasive poppies motif may be given as gifts to help honor the ones we have lost.

A keepsake memorial does not need to be big - in fact, sometimes smaller is better.  If it fits into the palm of one's hand, it can help with processing grief, healing over time, and remembrance for future generations through a permanent small memorial.

Acknowledging our gratitude helps us all to cope with our loss, and honor our military family members. Please share the stories of heroism and service you've known by leaving a comment here. 

Barbara Bergen is a designer of cremation urns and keepsake memorials with Cremation Urns by Legacy.  Her full collection may be seen at http://www.cremation-urns-legacy.com.