Written by Mr. Harvey’s Art Docent Volunteer, Glenda Tecklenburg.
Another generation continues the tradition of honoring the service and sacrifice of our military men and women. Penny Creek Elementary presented their annual Veterans Day assembly program on Thursday, November 7, 2013.
In honor of this celebratory day, Mr. Kenneth Harvey’s 4th/5th grade students created a poppy themed multi-media artwork display. Inspiration for their artwork came from the poem “In Flanders Fields” written by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, a military physician/surgeon on the battlefield during WWI.
McCrae’s former student and friend, Lieutenant Helmer, was killed in action in Belgium on May 2, 1915. He was buried nearby in Flanders Field. Visiting Helmer’s grave, McCrae was struck by the stark contrast of the red poppies blowing in a field of white crosses and fresh graves. In deep sorrow, he penned his poem.
The class discussed:
1. The definition of armistice: a suspension of fighting so a peace agreement can be established.
2. The history of the poppy: In 1918, inadequate funding existed to support the many widows and orphans of the millions of men killed in WWI. To help fill this need, the “poppy flower” fundraiser was created among the nations fighting the war. For nearly 100 years, the poppy has been the memorial flower of charitable giving to veterans worldwide.
3. When and why Armistice Day became Veteran’s Day in the US: Armistice Day began at the end of WWI on the 11th month of the 11th day at the 11th hour of 1918. Originally, the day honored those, who were killed in military action. After WWII with its vast number of wounded soldiers returning home, the US decided to honor all veterans both dead and alive. November 11th is now designated Veterans Day to honor and thank all, who served in the United States Armed Forces. Most of the students have or had a family member, who has served in our military.