Fundraiser For WWI Project
“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.”
Composed at the battlefront, on May 3rd, 1915, during the second battle of Ypres, Belgium
On May 2nd, 1915, John McCrae’s close friend and former student Alexis Helmer was killed by a German shell. The next day, May 3rd, 1915, John McCrae began writing his war memorial “In Flanders Fields” poem.
The Poppies of Landers Field are the inspiration for a fundraiser for the Nitro World War I Musesum.
Town & Country Supply owner Nathan Wills, along with artisan Joe Tolley, are hand-crafting steel red poppie yard decorations, and are selling them, along with special 100 Year Nitro Commemorative Case Knives, to raise money for the museum.
“World War I was a part of Nitro’s history,” explains Wills. “The city’s museum is a wonderful way to remember that history. We hope to sell a thousand of these poppies and as many knives to support the museum.”
Nitro’s story “Is more about the people – the American people moreso than the actual town itself,” explains Wills. “It is a testimony to the American people – they set out to do a job and they did it in eleven months.”
Throughout the town, Nitro has statues, street signs, a planned park and the museum that reminds residents and tourists of Nitro’s contribution to World War I.
The historic city derives its name and beginning with the manufacturing of gunpowder for World War I, one of only three cities to have such explosives plants.
“We greatly appreciate Nathan’s efforts,” says Mayor David Casebolt. “He has been a great asset to us in our rebranding efforts and with our museum. Nathan’s five decades as a Nitro businessman and his community service are invaluable.”
Casebolt hopes that World War I history fans will visit Nitro and spend money in gasoline and restaurants while they are touring.
To order the knives, or poppies, simply stop in at Town & Country Supply, 100 Main Street, in Nitro, or go to the store’s Facebook Page for order forms and more information.