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When is your surgery?
Originally Posted By: Diana-Exotic Pets Editor
I wish you all the strength. I am truly hoping after my next spine surgery I'll enjoy hiking and such again. I just love to be outdoors walking miles. Just can't do it anymore. Back then I was fit and trim.

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Koala
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My family physician wouldn't let me have the surgery because of the blood clots and having to stay on blood thinners...he said six to nine months, so I have quit bugging him, and will wait until September but no longer. The last surgery was December, that is nine months smile

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The poppy symbol from World War I was embraced by several nations even before the USA joined in, most notably England, France, and Canada. The author of the poem, Lt. Col. John McCrea was a Canadian Army physician who died of pneumonia as the war was ending in 1918. Memorial Day in England is called Remembrance Day, officially held at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month - the date and time when the armistice was signed in 1918. However, most of the ceremonies are conducted on "Remembrance Sunday," the 2d sunday in November. Youtube has some nice footage of the ceremonies around the world. It is tradition that the British Monarch bows to no one, but Queen Elizabeth II has a mind of her own and may be seen bowing on two occasions during the Remembrance Day filming - once to honor the war dead after laying her poppy wreath before the Cenotaph, and again to the people right after the singing of "God Save the Queen." I think they can be brought up by typing in "Remembrance Day 8th November 2009 Cenotaph" - there are several segments. Best wishes, Z. G. Standing Bear (US Army, Retired) at The Flash and Thelma Memorial Hedgehog Rescue in Divide, Colorado USA

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Hello there,

I found your information very interesting, thanks for the enjoyable if sobering reading. Which poem are you referring to?

The one that I posted on the Veterens site (News and Politics)came from a compilation of anonymous poetry. Or are you referring to another completely different poem by Lt Col. McCrea? Also, in which direction is the Queen facing when she bows to the people? I would hazard a guess that it is not to the general populace but to those representing soldiers and veterens as themselves across all of the armed forces including the auxiliaries. I have always thought her actions always and only 'performed' thus on Remembrance Day.

Though I now live in South Africa, I was brought up in the colonies as it were where we stood for The Queen (UK national anthem); celebrated Queen Elizabeth's official birthday with cucumber sandwiches and hats and honoured the war dead and Poppy Day in November.

Such nice memories your post has undone. Thank you once more.

Cheers


Lestie Mulholland - Container Gardening Editor

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"Things GARDENING are great ... they are my daily smiles on toast!" - Jennifer St John-Rose, formerly black thumb recently turned green.
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Koala
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I found the YouTube video Remembrance Sunday HM THE QUEEN lays wreath at the Cenotaph 8th November 2009 PART2 It was touching. I did a lot of thinking when I watched her two grandsons laying the wreaths. Thank you for bringing this to our attention.

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Koala
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Quote:
In Flanders Fields
By: Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918)
Canadian Army

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.


Taken from [url=http://www.arlingtoncemetery.net/flanders.htm][/url]

Last edited by Diana-Exotic Pets Editor; 05/16/11 06:25 PM.
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I am referring to the poem that Diana cited in her original message ("In Flanders Fields"). When I saw the Queen bow twice, as far as I recall both times she was facing the Cenotaph, but the second bow was at the conclusion of "God Save the Queen." Three generations on my mother's side of the family fought and were wounded in wars. "My" war was Vietnam, my mother's brother was a tank destroyer commander in WWII and fought under three different armies in Europe, and his father (my grandfather) fought in Pack Mule Artillery in WWI. My uncle caught the worst of it as he was assigned to an independent tank destroyer battalion that was always being moved to where the combat was. He was wounded four times and earned a Silver Star, personally awarded by General George Patton (in the hospital). I once asked him if there was any senior officer that he considered a hero, expecting him to name Patton. He said there was one - Lieutenant General Sir Brian Horrocks, whom he served under when his unit was attached to the XXX British Corps. He told me that General Horrocks was always at the front, always looking after the men, and his very first question upon arriving at his battalion was "Why don't these men have hot food?! If you can have it in the rear then you can jolly well bring it up here!" That order abruptly ended having to eat Spam three times a day. In the "small world" department, a past president of the International Hedgehog Association lives in Toronto and her father also served under General Horrocks in World War II. When her father died, she sent me her father's autographed copy of General Horrocks's autobiography titled "A Full Life," which I treasure. Having spent a third of a century in the Army, my particular interest is World War II (I suppose because I was born in 1941 and my first conscious memories are of that period). Now in semi-retirement, my sole university duties involve teaching courses on the Internet from home. In each course in the so-called "Class Lounge" I pose a question that the students manage to solve only about 50% of the time. I ask them if there is a person "above the law" who, in a modern, industrialized, civilized country, may operate a motor vehicle on a public highway without a driver's license, without a vehicle registration, and not having to wear a seat belt? I use a creative example submitted by a student citing the President of the Mormon Church in Utah (just to throw them off and have them concentrate on the USA). Well, the correct answer is Queen Elizabeth II, simply because the courts are convened in the name of the monarch, so to cite her for breaking these laws would mean that she would be prosecuting herself. Now, most heads of state are chauffeured wherever they go, but the Queen has always liked to drive (and ride horses) and was an ambulance driver in World War II. One can see photos of her behind the wheel of her not-so-new Jaguar sedan, sans seat belt. Best wishes, Z. G. Standing Bear at The Flash and Thelma Memorial Hedgehog Rescue in Divide, Colorado USA

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Thanks for your very detailed Posts MGSpikers, they were really interesting to read.

My late grandfather fought as a teenager, not that such a thing existed in those days, in Flanders, the western side of Belgium, during WWI, and he told us how the fields of battle were filled with wild poppies which somehow, despite the horrors, death and devastation that surrounded the troops, bloomed each spring and brought hope, colour and a feeling of the continuation of life to those that were still left to fight.

Now the poppies are beginning to bloom here, the fields and roadsides are dotted with red, and in days will be covered. They look beautiful, but every year they bring back memories of him and everything he told us about life in the trenches.

I believe there is a town in Texas where seeds from Flanders poppies were sent home by a serving American soldier during WWI to be sown by his mother, and now the area is ablaze with red for a few weeks every spring.

On another subject you brought up, Remembrance Day, US Veterans Day, which is held to commemorate the signing of the armistice in 1918 on the 11th hour, of the 11th day of the 11th month, is followed by quite a few European countries, and in France and Belgium where most of the fighting took place it is a national holiday. Coincidently that precise time is the beginning of Karnaval, Mardi Gras, preparations in Germany.

And a lighter topic Hedgehogs are protected species in Germany, with their own 24hr Hedgehog Hotline for anyone with a hedgehog related problem or query and a countrywide organization, Pro Igel, which amongst other things gives out well publicized instructions on caring for them in the wild. Including ensuring they have water during dry spells, and special food which can be bought in any supermarket if natural food is a bit thin on the ground for whatever reason. And they are even believed to have been the inspiration of the �Groundhog Day� tradition, part of age old German folklore taken by emigrants to the USA which had been based on observance of hedgehog behaviour at winters end.

As they are a protected species, it is illegal to keep a European hedgehog as a pet in Germany, except if you find one that is sick or does not look strong enough to last through the winter then there is free medical treatment available and you can look after it until the end of winter.

Not all European countries look upon them the same way though, they are a �delicacy� in Portugal and in some East European countries.



Francine A. McKenna - German Culture Editor

German Culture Site - German Culture Facebook

Avatar: HOHENZOLLERNBRÃœCKE Cologne with CATHEDRAL and LUDWIG MUSEUM. The Bridge a symbol of how Germany was rebuilt after WWII, it was left in ruins, the Cathedral with roots in the 13th century represents the country's history, Museum of Modern Art the present day.

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Hello MGSpikers, Francine and Diana and all,
Thank you for your posts and information. Please don't stop writing, MGSpikers please consider becoming a Bellaonline Editor and please find a way to give a website or a contact so that I can followup with your online internet-based courses.

Diana, of course I knew that poem! Feeling shy now having read it again could almost recite it ... thank you very much for posting it, memory plays tricks, I did not recognise the author's name at all but must have known it a some stage when at school in the 60's.

I have determined to write an article for my site on poppies, especially red ones to remember and link together many of the different sites in Bellaonline. Francine, do you know whether or not Flanders poppy seeds are available commercially? I am going to check that out here (SA) for sure.

Thankyou everyone yet again for some very interesting reading.

FYI I do not know what the status of Hedgehogs is here in SA. I will do some homework just because and report back.

Cheers


Lestie Mulholland - Container Gardening Editor

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"Things GARDENING are great ... they are my daily smiles on toast!" - Jennifer St John-Rose, formerly black thumb recently turned green.
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Francine, that Texas town is Georgetown, known as the Red Poppy Capitol of Texas. WWI veteran Henry Compton sent the poppy seeds to his mother. The town is just north of the state capitol of Austin. One of the most delightful books written about hedgehogs was the 1972 volume by a German couple, Walter and Christl Poduschka titled "Dearest Prickles - The story of a Hedgehog Family," which was published in German, Dutch, and two English versions, one in England and the other in the USA. Now long out of print, I still manage to find them in online used book stores and I buy them as special gifts for supporters of our hedgehog rescue and for charity auction items at hedgehog shows. The book chronicles the year-long care of several orphaned baby hedgehogs, and it is full of wonderful photos. There is a story (unverified as far as I can tell) of German and Dutch immigrants to the USA (Pennsylvania) looking about for hedgehogs to predict the weather (which was supposedly an old tradition going back to the Roman Empire). Not finding any, they drafted the groundhog who was brown, about the same size as a hedgehog, and hibernated. The Colorado Hedgehog Society organizes the annual Hedgehog Day Tea (on or near February 2d) which used to be held at the old, elegant Brown Palace Hotel in Denver, but was later moved to the very unique home of a Denver area physician who is a big supporter of our hedgehog efforts. If anyone would like a copy of the International Hedgehog Association (IHA) newsletter containing an article about Hedgehog Day and the Hedgehog Day Tea, let me know by email (mgspikers@aol.com)and I can send one along as an Adobe attachment. That issue (Jan/Feb 2009) also contains the review of Hugh Warwick's (Great britain) hedgehog book, which was the most difficult hedgehog book review I've ever done. One of the most remarkable hedgehog books from the scientific standpoint was also German, published in 1938 by zoologist Konrad Herter, at the Berlin Zoo. The 222 page book was only published in German (Die Biologie der europaeischen Igel), but an abridged (72 page) English version did appear in 1965. I was unaware of hedgehogs being used as food in Portugal, but was aware of the practice among Gypsies (Romani, Zigeuner) where they not only ate the hedgehog, but used the hide, complete with quills, to card wool. I enjoyed living in Germany between 1962 and 1966, and again in 1972. Before my US government housing became available (there was a one year waiting list at the time) I was able to stay at Schloss Vollrads (in the Rheingau just north of the village of Winkel) thanks to a letter of introduction from a relative of Richard Graf Matuschka-Greiffenclau. Count Matuschka and I hit it off very well and he was a very gracious host. I still have a number of bottles of Spitzenweine (from the 1920s through 1959) that the Count sent home with me when I returned to the USA in 1966. Best wishes, Z. G. Standing Bear at the Flash and Thelma Memorial Hedgehog rescue in Divide, Colorado USA

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