November is poppy month, the time of the year when by the wearing of a simple emblem, a red poppy, we salute the memory of those who sacrificed their health, their strength, even their lives, that we might live in a free country.
Long known as the corn poppy (Papaver rhoeas) because it flourishes as a weed in grain fields, the Flanders poppy as it is now usually called, grew profusely in the trenches and craters of the war zone. Artillery shells and shrapnel stirred up the earth and exposed the seeds to the light they needed to germinate.
Today the poppy is worn on Remembrance Day, the 11th of November. At 11 o’clock on that day, everyone is asked to be silent for just two minutes. The silence is a chance to remember all those who have died in wars and to be glad that we are not at war today.
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