Long before the Great War, the red poppy had become a symbol of death, renewal and life. The seeds of the flower can remain dormant in the earth for years, but will blossom spectacularly when the soil is churned. Beginning in late 1914, the fields of Northern France and Flanders became the scene of stupendous disturbances. Poppies soon appeared.

In Flanders Field, John McCrae forever bound the image of the Red Poppy to the memory of the Great War. The poppy was eventually adopted by the British and Canadian Legions as the symbol of remembrance of World War One and a means of raising funds for disabled veterans.

Years later, an American war volunteer, Moina Michael, helped establish the symbol in the US where the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion also embraced the Red Poppy tradition.

In Flanders Fields

By John McCrae

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row by row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard among 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 yea break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Reading the powerful message In Flanders Field, I picture the addicts and the foe they battle everyday of their lives. Their battle is real. In the throes of addiction, they are the walking dead. Although it seems they reject the help of family, friends, 12-Step programs and other support groups, inwardly they desperately fight to hold on to their sense of worth.

You see, with addiction one of the first things an addict abandons is their spiritually. That is why the wise founders of AA boldly proclaimed the key to recovery starts with a spiritual program. Keep the faith!

Step 1. I can’t.

Step 2. God can.

Step 3. So let Him.


How can a young person live a clean life? By carefully reading the map of your Word. I’m single-minded in pursuit of you; don’t let me miss the road signs you’ve posted (Psalm 119:9-10 MSG).