West Ranch High School students recognized the 1,000 Californians that were killed during World War I by “planting” a handmade red poppy to represent each soldier lost.
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West Ranch High teachers and students from the modern civilization class assembled in front of the school the Friday before Veterans Day to “plant” the poppies.
Adam Holland, a teacher at West Ranch High School, worked with his students to create 1,000 poppies on the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day, which marked the end of WWI.
“We are coming up on the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I on November 11, which we celebrate as Veterans Day here in the United States,” said Holland. “So a bunch of teachers got together and thought, ‘Why don’t we do something since we’re (studying) World War I in our regular modern civilization class?’ And so the kids made these amazing poppies.”
Each student created two poppies by hand out of cupcake liners and colored them red to resemble the “Remembrance Poppy.”
The remembrance poppy is an artificial flower that has been used since 1921 to commemorate military personnel who have died in war, and represents a common or field poppy.
Inspired by the World War I poem “In Flanders Fields,” they were first adopted by the American Legion to commemorate American soldiers killed in the war.
Nearly 1,000 Remembrance Poppies fluttered in the wind on the lawn in front of West Ranch High School as a reminder to students and parents as they visited the school.
Mark Crawford, West Ranch High School Principal, joined his students on the front lawn and read the poem “In Flanders Field,” by John McCrae, aloud to help honor the fallen:
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.
Nearly 500 students were responsible for crafting the 1,000 poppies that reminded them about the Californian soldiers that died 100 years ago, according to students.
West Ranch High student Owen Fairbanks — who has family members who have served in the military and are currently enlisted — planted poppies with his peers.
“My whole family‘s been in the military, so by doing this it makes me think of what could’ve happened if a tragedy like this happened while they were out on the front lines,” he said. “It just reminds me that we’re lucky that this hasn’t happened in our time.”
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