purple poppy meme

No one knew that the churned up soil of World War I battlefields in France and Belgium would create the perfect conditions for a bumper crop of wild red poppies: breathtaking, horrifying, unforgettable. The red poppy was immortalized "Lest we forget" Then we forgot... "Red poppies were for Flanders Fields, White poppies say that war must cease, Now purple poppies blossom forth For Pangaiamic Peace..."

Friday, December 14, 2007

Purple Poppy Activity 11-11 2007

This is the Santa Cruz City Park Peace Pole planted by WomenRise for Global Peace. This year the inscription plate was replaced (now should last a lifetime).

Made a purple poppy kilt for the San Francisco Green Festival.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

November 11 Approaches Again

This purple poppy yellow scarf went with us this summer to dance in the Temples of Humankind at Damanhur, Italy.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Einstein on World War 4

"I cannot tell you with what weapons mankind would fight WW3, but I can assure you that WW4 would be fought with sticks and stones."~Albert Einstein

Department of Peace, USA

"What is quite clear - and would become clear as you go along with this campaign - is that you are trying, and I consider myself with you on this in every way... [To create] not only a massive but a basic change in our culture, in our entire approach to our relationships with other human beings... It's not a matter of simply getting another Department of government. You're speaking of an entire philosophical revolution."~Walter Cronkite in conversation with Rep. Dennis Kucinich

Friday, April 14, 2006

WomenRise Peace Pole, Santa Cruz, California

What the inscription reads:

In these dire & beautiful times
WomenRise for Global Peace Women Strike 11-11 ~
We honor our Sister Cities
Alushta, Ukraine
Jinotepe, Nicaragua
Puerto La Cruz, Venezuela
Sestri Levante, Italy
Shingu, Japan
Our first Sister County Alliance with Guamá, Cuba Alianza de Guamá y Santa Cruz "AGuaS"
And 'the cradle of civilization' ~ Iraq
WomenRise clarion call 11-11-2002
WomenRise Peace Pole Planted
November 11, 2002
Armistice Day
Dedicated May 11, 2003
Mothering Sunday

WomenRise Guiding Principles
We can live in celebration and respect for all life and all love
The power of our individual choices to be peaceful does change the world
We can effectively promote peace as a world solution
~Peace in every heart ~
~Peace around the world~
This Peace Pole is fashioned from reclaimed old growth Redwood
purchased with monies from the people & friends of Santa Cruz
who hold a vision for Peace.

Eisenhower: : "I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can..."

"I like to think that people, in the long run are going to do more to promote peace than governments. Indeed, I believe that people want peace so much, that one of these days governments better get out of their way and let them have it." Dwight D. Eisenhower,

"I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can, only as one who has seen its brutality, its futility, its stupidity."- - General of the Army D.D. Eisenhower

"As is well documented in a new film, "Why We Fight," the current militarization of America had its roots in the Second World War. The film focuses on Dwight Eisenhower's 1961 farewell speech to the nation at the end of his eight-year presidency. In a remarkably prescient warning, he told Americans that for the first time in our history we had produced a permanent arms industry and that "we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society."
excerpted from
War: A Theft From Those Who Hunger, by Gilbert Jordan
Published on Monday, April 3, 2006 by CommonDreams.org

Gilbert Jordan is a retired professor of English from Monroe Community College in Rochester, New York, an anti-war activist, rag time piano player, and full-time landscape artist. E-mail Gilbert at: gfjordan@frontiernet.net

White poppies, purple poppies...

Armistice Day officially received its name in America in 1926 through a Congressional resolution. It became a national holiday 12 years later by similar Congressional action. The Great War was proclaimed "the War to end all Wars," November 11 would henceforth be Armistice Day. But within 10 years nations were once again at war in Europe. Sixteen and one-half million Americans took part. Four hundred seven thousand of them died in service, more than 292,000 in battle.

In 1954 President Eisenhower signed a bill naming November 11 as Veterans Day instead.

The General Assembly of the United Nations "proclaims the period 2001-2010 as the International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Nonviolence for the Children of the World." The Peace Pledge Union UK has focused on the white poppy as part of its campaign for that 'Culture of Peace': the white poppy helps to break the silence which 'perpetuates the delusion that war, and preparing for war, can bring about peace'. http://www.ppu.org.uk/

In the USA, we have the 'Purple Heart' for combat wounded, a decoration created by General George Washington. Now we rise, women and men and children together rise, and the symbol of our pledge to a profound Peace is the Purple Poppy. Our vision and prayer is the evolution of humanity beyond the mutually assured destruction, which is war. We turn to the Mother's Day Proclamation of 1970 :

"Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn all that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience. Women of one country will be too tender of those of another country to allow our sons (sic) to be trained to injure theirs."

In 1870 Mother's Day was born with the Proclamation

"Arise, then, women of this day! Arise all women who have hearts, whether your baptism be that of water or of tears! Say firmly: "We will not have great questions decided by irrelevant agencies. Our husbands shall not come to us, reeking with carnage, for caresses and applause.."

Julia Ward Howe (author of Battle Hymn of the Republic).

For full Proclamation see http://www.awakenedwoman.com/offerings.htm

In Flander Fields (the famous red poppy poem)

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 ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow In Flanders fields.
To hear my mother begin to recite this poem can still cause an emotional response in me. She never recited it in its entirety. She wished only to summon that awesome carpet of scarlet poppies as far as the eye could see. The day came when I went looking for the whole poem and, for the first time appreciated the full sentiment and message.
The red poppy came to symbolize the blood shed for a noble cause rather than the bloodbath, and any who would not follow suit would be 'breaking faith' with those who had been compelled to die in circumstances of mutually assured destruction.
"Long before the Great War, the red poppy had been 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 fields in Belgium became the scene of stupendous disturbances - the carnage of battle. Red Poppies soon appeared. In 1915, at a Canadian dressing station north of Ypres on the Essex Farm, an exhausted physician named Lt. Col. John McCrae would take in the view of the poppy strewn Salient and experience a moment of artistic inspiration.
The veteran of the South African War was able to distill in a single vision the vitality of the red poppy symbol, his respect for the sacrifice made by his patients and dead comrades, and his intense feeling of obligation to them. McCrae would capture all of this in the most famous single poem of the First World War, In Flanders Fields.
The doctor's work achieved immediate universal popularity which was subsequently reinforced by his own death in 1918 from pneumonia and meningitis. He was buried in a military cemetery near Calais on the English Channel, thus becoming one with those of whom he wrote in his famous poem.
Probably by the time of his internment, John McCrae's verse had 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. 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. http://www.worldwar1.com/heritage/rpoppy.htm

England: Mayor steps out wearing red & white poppies side by side...

England: November 2002

70 years after the first white poppy plea, the white poppy is finally sanctioned by British in public office: The Mayor of Guildford in Surrey.

Though it may only have been noticed in the local paper, it represents an historical moment in a century of poppy symbolism: Mrs. Linda Strudwick said she would be buying a white poppy, but would also be at Sandhurst for the launch of the red poppy appeal. "I think both are good ideas," she said.

"I shall be officiating at the Remembrance service but I haven't given a thought to which poppy I shall wear. I am amazed we are having this conversation at all. "The poppies jolly well ought to be reconcilable. The white poppies are for peace and the red poppies are to help victims of war. They are both peace poppies, and I am supporting both, in the same way that as mayor I am supporting lots of things this year. "If you have got a group that is working for peace and the British Legion also working towards peace, what is more appropriate than to wear both poppies?" Surrey Advertiser, England, UK

The idea of alternative poppies dates back to 1926, when someone in the No More War Movement (UK) suggested that the British Legion should be asked to imprint 'No More War' on their poppies, and failing this that people who felt strongly on this subject should make their own flowers. The Women's Cooperative Guild UK, dating back to 1883, had spoken out strongly against the First World War and, throughout the inter-war years, began to feel that a new impetus was needed.

In 1933, several branches asked for a symbol to express their opposition to war, and the white poppy for wearing on Armistice Day, was born. The Guild stressed that the white poppy was in no way intended as an insult to those who died in the First World War but that it was a 'pledge to peace that war must not happen again'. Indeed, many of the women lost husbands, brothers, sons and lovers.

The British Legion, who produced the red poppy, was asked to produce the white poppies for the Guild but could not make the stretch; neither would they accept proceeds from sales. In the first year a Guild member, Miss Millar, improvised poppies with white paper and ribbons. In later years the white poppies were produced by the Co-operative Wholesale Society. It quickly became regarded as a radical symbol and in the end, it took courage to wear. Some even lost their jobs for wearing it. Sales of the white poppy reached their peak in 1938 when the Peace Pledge Union joined with the Guild in promoting it. In 1988, the PPU took on the promotion, again asked the British Legion to make the white poppies. The British Legion remains as ever aligned only to the red poppy..

Oldest Veteran lays red poppy wreath

Remembrance Day, November 2005
Oldest veteran remembers fallen.

Mr Allingham was in France to lay a wreath on Armistice DayBritain's oldest war veteran was taking part in the march past the Cenotaph in London on Remembrance Sunday.

Henry Allingham, 109, from Eastbourne, East Sussex, was a WWI aircraft engineer and is the last survivor from the Royal Air Force's creation in 1918.

He was in France for Armistice Day on Friday where he laid wreaths at memorials in St Omer, near Calais, in honour of his fallen comrades. Mr Allingham served in the British airbase there during 1917.


Canada Working Group for a Federal Department of Peace

"The outcome of the world, the gates of the future ... are not thrown open to a few of the privileged nor to one chosen people to the exclusion of all others. They will open ... in a direction in which all together can join and find completion in a spiritual renewal of the earth." Teilhard de Chardin


International Initiative for Departments of Peace

"To work for peace is to work to transform violence. The fundamental aim of a Ministry for Peace is to reduce violence, both in the UK and internationally.The real struggle of the 21st century will not be between civilizations, nor between religions. It will be the struggle between violence and non-violence. Help non-violence win."

In response to the call from the People's Initiative for Departments of Peace, ministry for peace launched a new campaign, Negotiate Peace, at our meeting in Parliament on March 1st 2006. There is a separate website, www.negotiate-peace.org that offers resources to individuals and organisations wishing to call on governments to adopt proven non-violent conflict transformation methods to resolve this crisis.

Negotiate Peace initiative

"Negotiate Peace has been set up by ministry for peace and was launched at our meeting in Parliament on March 1st 2006 in response to the call from the People's Initiative for Departments of Peace (below) for governments to use proven non-violent conflict transformation methods to resolve this situation. This website offers resources to individuals and organisations wishing to call on governments to adopt this non-violent strategy. " http://www.negotiate-peace.org/ (UK initiative)

Collateral Damage Statue Santa Cruz

Collateral Damage: Reality of War
dedicated during the "No Nukes" Rally, August 5, 1995.

Photographed in the days following 9/11 by Maggi Moon Rose.

We live in an extraordinary community here in Santa Cruz, California. Besides our long-established Resource Center for Nonviolence http://www.rcnv.org/ we have the Collateral Damage Statue right by the town clock.

The original was created in the 1950's by renowned (local) sculptor, E.A. Chase, as part of the early Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, actually commissioned for the U.N Plaza in NY but pressure from powerful interests ensured that it was never placed there. Santa Cruz voted this statue into a prominent public place in the community (with guns from a voluntary turn-in buried in the base). It has quickly become a focal point and gathering place, particularly in times of heightened insanity.

The inscription reads: "In appreciation of all who actively "Wage Peace" and every person who helped make this memorial possible..

The Collateral Damage Statue by EA Chase
"I like to think that this (Peace) park will be a humble but beautiful place, a small bit of sanctuary in a very troubled and busy world, a place, at the very least , where anyone can come to reflect upon the answer to the question that my five year old son asks me each time we drive by the Town Clock: "Mommy, why are those people in that statue so afraid?"

Peace Angels from melted-down guns

Dear Weapon Holder,
For each one of us there comes a time to choose. If you have made the choice in your life to give up your street weapons to create a better life for yourself, we invite you to kindly destroy your weapon for a greater community purpose. We encourage you to contact your local law enforcement agency who will make the necessary arrangements to receive the weapons to include in a future Peace Angel sculpture for the world. You will become a Warrior of Peace as your weapon is melted and transformed into a symbol of peace -forever. Your action will not only be for yourself but also for your family, your friends, your ancestors and the community. By taking the hero's journey for peace, you forge a critical link to creating peace in our world. We thank you and so will they.

Lin Evola Founder,
Peace Angels Project

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

The Christmas Truce

This is a book review in the wild sociology genre. I am reading between two potent books simultaneously. One is The Powers That Be - theology for a new millennium, by Walter Wink. The other is Silent Night - the story of the World War I Christmas Truce, by military historian, Stanley Weintraub. This reading experience in the midst of the current political climate, is keeping me breathing, bringing a frequent and sudden onset of tears (sweet relief), and pushing me out of the door and into the forest to walk, to feel, to breathe some more (in keeping with what Gregg Braden calls 'the 6 parameters of life'). I needed this encouragement, this unexpected, extraordinary multi-dimensional 'read.'

In The Powers That Be, the author demonstrates how we have been raised to believe in the concept of "redemptive violence" - ultimately only violence can save us, and, even if we entertain other possibilities, we see violence as the unavoidable last resort. This cultural belief plays out in cartoons, video games, books and movies. He speaks of the "rabid patriotism that scorns democratic restraints or public accountability." Over and over in our entertainment mediums, a character like 'Dirty Harry' takes the law into his own hands and proves again that this is the only effective way justice is served.

"The first person who attempts to squelch an act of courage is often a family member" precisely, he says, because the family is enmeshed in the 'Domination System'. Walter Wink has the ability to speak to such things whilst affirming what we cherish about family and community. There's a beautiful passage from Angie O'Gorman's book, The Universe bends to Justice, in which she describes the scene of a nighttime intruder in her bedroom. She is terrified of course but she has three thoughts, the third of which she believes saved her life (the other thoughts were violent visions/fears): "I realized with a certain clarity that either he and I made it through this situation safely - together - or we would both be damaged. Our safety was connected. If he raped me, I would be hurt, both physically and emotionally. If he raped me, he would be hurt as well. If he went to prison, the damage would be greater. That thought disarmed me." A conversation ensues, tension and danger dissipates, he sleeps downstairs and leaves in the morning.

Reading this released something in me. I am made stronger through such stories, more able to be present and open to potentials and possibilities. Walter Wink's historical involvement in the movement to end apartheid in South Africa is also a truly heartening read.

Silent Night - A soldier writes home from the Great War trenches "I am keeping well in spite of the large number of Christmas parcels received." Rations and ammunition deliveries are suspended for 24 hours to allow 355,000 Princess Mary Christmas tins to be delivered to soldiers on the Front Line who live daily with friends being killed, and lying dead and de-composing all around them. An officer complains that the area is now "scattered with lumps of plum pudding (from the Christmas gifts) simply chucked away. It's pearls before swine to try to treat some men as human beings." Polite society insists that it is necessary for us to commit atrocities in the name of king or country, not be changed by it, not speak of it, not be upset, brutalized or traumatized by it, be polite, be grateful, say thank you.

The truce across 'enemy' lines arose from the ranks, from a basic and core sense of humanity. This detailed account of the "collective indiscipline" is precious beyond words. As the war dragged on, thousands of men were court-martialed and some were served death sentences for refusing to return to the futile killing on the Front Lines, but no one can change the fact that a magical truce sprang up independently at countless posts all along the Front Line, and this event continues to live in memory and, since 1999, has a permanent memorial, near Ploegsteert Wood in Belgium.

The author quotes Graham Greene, saying, "the enemy has to remain a caricature if he is to be kept at a safe distance...an enemy should never come alive." In the spontaneous Christmas truce of 1914, the British were astounded, after all the propaganda of "Teutonic bestiality", that the Germans were fundamentally no different from them in their hopes, dreams, fears, and families.

At a time when we are once again being fed 'caricatures' of yet another 'enemy', this book is a timely treasure. As the author writes: "what began as "the wonderful day" to its participants remains a potent stimulus to the creative memory. Christmas 1914 evokes the stubborn humanity within us, and suggests an unrealized potential to burst its seams and rewrite a century."

The Powers That Be - theology for a new millennium, Walter Wink
hardback, Galilee Doubleday 1998 (paperback 1999)
Silent Night - the story of the World War I Christmas Truce, Stanley Weintraub
The Free Press (division of Simon & Schuster, Inc. 2001)

published in HopeDance magazine, 2002

Sunday, April 09, 2006

When I'm an old woman, I'm going to wear purple

Purple Poppy origins

P Is for Purple (women get vocal)
...It all started with a dozen or so local women, including Vice Mayor Emily Reilly and the indomitable 94-year-old Eleanor Wasson. They threw the party to end all wars-- planted a Peace Pole in the City Park and declared WomenRise for Global Peace --
It was Armistice Day, 11am, Nov. 11, ...(11.11) 2002

http://www.metroactive.com/papers/cruz/11.06.02/nuz-0245.html (scroll down!)