Uhlan mounted with gasmask.
Much like how poppy flowers are used in the United Kingdom and Commonwealth countries, cornflowers -which also grew on battlefields even after being churned up by artillery fire- are used in France to remember WW1 and generally as a symbol of solidarity with veterans.
While poppies were chosen following John McCrae’s 1915 poem, cornflowers became linked to the Great War in 1916 when Suzanne Lenhardt and Charlotte Malleterre, a war widow and orphan respectively, set up small workshops where mutilated or otherwise incapacitated soldiers returning from the war could work on making fabric and paper cornflowers to sell on the street as a way to reinsert themselves into society and make some money.
“On Saturday, using a little rain (very little) as an excuse, Trump blew off a long-planned visit to the graves of more than 1,000 U.S. Marines killed in the ferocious fight for Belleau Wood in the bloody spring of 1918. No other heads of state failed to make their appointed rounds at battlefield cemeteries. But ironically it seems that Marine One, the presidential helicopter, was deterred by drizzle. Even Trump’s most credulous supporters must find that hard to believe. And one would like to know what his two most important enablers, the former four-star Marine generals Secretary of Defense James Mattis and White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, think of the way Trump disrespected those brave members of that proud corps. Probably we will have to wait for their memoirs, but, of course, those will just be part of history. The truth is, Trump never wanted to be here in the first place, and his performance on Saturday reflected his trademark truculent petulance. He wanted to be in Washington reviewing a massive military parade all his own, like the one he saw in Paris on Bastille Day 2017 — the same one put on every year here in France — which he had taken to be, yes, somehow about him as well.”
Headlines from November 1918. They show a world relieved and hopeful for the future.
Remembrance Poppies from Around the World
In the photograph above are 10 poppies from around the world. I took this photo during a visit to the Scottish National War Museum, which currently has a small exhibition on the history of remembrance.
In one case they had collected remembrance poppies from all over the world. From top to bottom, left to right they are:
1. Scotland, 2. England, Wales & Norther Ireland, 3. France, 4. Belgium, 5. Ukraine, 6. the US, 7. Canada, 8. Newfoundland, 9. Australia, 10. New Zealand
The wearing of the poppy varies from country to country depending on tradition. In the UK it is extremely common for many people to wear them in the run up to the 11th November while in other countries it is less so.
The idea of wearing a poppy to commemorate the end of the Great War, and subsequent wars, began in 1921. The symbol of the poppy was chosen in reference to Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae’s poem ‘In Flanders Fields’ and following a campaign by Moina Michael the National American Legion adopted the poppy in 1920. In the UK its estimated that over 30 million poppies are made and sold each year. The money raised by the Royal British Legion, the charity established in May 1921 that sells them, is then used to assist veterans.
Note that the French “poppy” is of course a cornflower, which is based on the French uniform starting in 1915. Fabric and paper cornflowers started being manufactured during the war by crippled veterans as organized by war widows to provide a small income, and has since become a symbol of solidarity and remembrance.
Art work commemorating the 100th anniversary of the end of the Great War.
Armistice of 11 November 1918
was the armistice that ended fighting on land, sea and air in World War
I between the Allies and their opponent, Germany. Previous armistices
had eliminated Bulgaria, the Ottoman Empire and the Austro-Hungarian
Empire from the war. Also known as the Armistice of Compiègne from the
place where it was signed, it came into force at 11 a.m. Paris time on
11 November 1918 (“the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh
month”) and marked a victory for the Allies and a complete defeat for
Germany, although not formally a surrender.