Today is Veteran’s Day, November 11, 2022. On Veteran’s Day, I always recall my father stopping to buy a poppy from a veteran.

When I was a little girl, if I happened to be grocery shopping or going for a walk with my father on Veteran’s Day or Memorial Day, and we passed a veteran selling poppies, my father would always reach into his pocket, pull out a bunch of loose change and exchange that for a red crepe poppy.   Since my father was a WWII veteran, I assumed it was a remembrance of WWII veterans. 

However, after all these years, I learned this tradition started in 1922 by disabled or needy vets at the Veteran Affairs hospitals in the UK.  The money raised from the sale of the poppies supported veteran causes. In the US, it is more traditional to see the poppies sold on Memorial Day in memory of fallen soldiers.

In thinking about the poppies, I thought it would be nice to pay tribute to all our veterans from the two world wars.

WWI

Who from our family served in WWI?

  • From our Blieden branch:
    • Our Uncle Harry C. Bricker (Aunt Reve’s husband),
  • From our Kessler branch:
    •  our birth grandfather, Abraham Kessler
  • From our Feldman branch:
    • Our birth cousin Estelle Eisler’s father, Isadore C. Rosenberg.
Harry C. Bricker
Abe Kessler

Isadore Rosenberg and his future wife, Ida Feldman

WWII

Who from our family served in WWII?

  • From Blieden branch:
    • our father, Bernard H. Blieden
    • our Uncle Manny Rich
    • our cousins Jud and Arnold Bricker
  • From our Laber branch:
    • Great-uncle Harry Lieber
  • From our Feldman branch:
    • Birth great-uncle Peter Feldman
  • From the Rothman side:
    • Stan’s uncle, Abe Warren
    • Stan’s uncle, Bill Kirsch
Bernard H. Blieden
Manny Rich
Harry Leiber in the Army 011943
Harry Lieber
Jud Bricker
Arnold Bricker
Peter Feldman
Abraham Warren
William Kirsch

If you can think of any other family members that I may have left out, please let me know.

Although the sale of the poppies is no longer as popular as it once was., because, like everything else, over the last 30 years in the UK, controversy developed over the wearing and the sale of the poppies.

Truthfully, I can no longer remember if it were Veteran’s Day or Memorial Day or both that we saw the poppies being sold.  That doesn’t matter, though.  What does matter is that it was a tradition my father faithfully upheld year after year and was obviously meaningful to him. Because of that, it is a special memory for me, and I can still picture him proudly pinning a poppy onto his shirt collar.

If you want to read more about the poppy tradition or the poem that inspired the tradition, here are some sources:

Post Author: trothman

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