Do you remember hearing about the poppy project, “Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red” last year in London to commemorate the start of WWI?
Well, get ready, because a brigade of volunteers is preparing their own version of the public art installation and there will soon be thousands of pretty poppies inÂ Fairhope!
You read that correctly. Dreamer, planner, coordinator, organizer and photo-shy Gaye Lindsey (above) is orchestrating an army of volunteers (so many in fact, you need a reservation to help) who will construct from scratch, 3,000 pottery poppies.
Once completely cut, shaped, glazed, fired and assembled, the 3,000 bright red flowers will be placed around the Veteran’s monument in Henry George Park in time to celebrate Veteran’s Day on November 11, 2015. Here’s a story I previously did on the park and the beautiful Veteran’s sculpture and fountain.I got into the act and helped, even though my most challenging class ever at the Eastern Shore Art Center was pottery. I thought it would be a breeze, but I was terrible! Know your strengths – accept your weaknesses!
The installation and exhibit will honor U.S. military veterans from all armed conflicts. This project will bring attention to the huge number of veterans – living and deceased – who have served our country. Veterans will be invited to take a poppy home with them and the remainder will be sold to the public with proceeds going to various Veteran’s organizations in Baldwin County.
This hard working lady was banging away on the steel rods that will serve as stems for the flowers. I commented that I liked her pearls and she laughed and said, “I’m not even from the South, but I’m learning to wear them all the time!”
And here are a few examples lining the sidewalk into the Eastern Shore Art Center.Â
My 7th grade English teacher had me memorize the poem, “In Flander’s Fields” by Â John McCrae. Â My Grandfather could also recite it, so I love thinking about him when I see it. This is where the connection with poppies and Veterans first began.
In Flanders Fields
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
For information on how you can help make poppies, contact the Eastern Shore Art CenterÂ HERE.
Thanks to my friend L.M. for several of these photos.