PHOTOS COURTESY OF JENNIFER LaSCALA
The wearing of poppies in honor of America’s war dead is traditionally done on Memorial Day. The practice of wearing of poppies was inspired by the poem “In Flanders Fields,” written in 1915 by Canadian soldier John McCrae. McCrae’s friend, Lt. Alexis Helmer, was killed during the battle and his burial inspired the poem which was written on May 3, 1915. McCrae saw the poppies during burials around his artillery position.
Jennifer LaScala, a ceramics teacher and Clay in Mind director at Sayreville War Memorial High School, coordinated with New Brunswick High School, Northern Burlington County Regional High School, Middlesex High School and Burlington Township High School to create 320 ceramic poppy flowers for the New Jersey Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial in Holmdel. Sayreville students created 200 on their own, which were installed in time for Memorial Day.
The poppies were removed after Memorial Day, but this will be a yearly installation at the memorial.