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April 25, why is the poppy the flower of the Resistance?

«You sleep buried in a corn field
It's not the rose, it's not the tulip
Who watch over you from the shadow of the ditches
But they are a thousand red poppies.”

Fabrizio De André sing ne Piero's war the horror of war that sows death. And the void that the extermination of bodies leaves behind is colored red. The red of the poppies that grow in war-torn meadows, strong and vigorous, with delicate petals like wafers but red like the color of battles and the blood that the earth has fed on for years (and still continues to do so) due to the wars. The first time the poppy was associated with war was at the end of the First World War, in 1918, when the major battlefields of Europe were covered in red poppies.

The Canadian lieutenant and poet tells it John Alexander McCrae in his verses in In Flanders Fields which are still remembered today on the occasion of Remembrance Day celebrations in Canada, Europe and the United States: «The poppies bloom in the fields of Flanders among the crosses which, row after row, mark our place; and in the sky the larks fly, courageously raising the song that down here among the cannons is almost not heard.[…]». In the Anglo-Saxon tradition it symbolizes the victims of the first and second world wars and on Remembrance Day it is pinned to the buttonhole of jackets in memory of the victims of the war.

In the years that followed, the poppy became the symbol of Resistence and of the sacrifice of thousands of partisans in Italy. So we find April 25th everywhere, in the squares and in the processions, in the posters and in the images celebrating the day of Italy's liberation from Nazi-fascism. April 25th is a day of celebration and remembrance. Symbolic date because in 1945 the retreat of the soldiers of Nazi Germany and the fascists of the Republic of Salò from the cities of Turin and Milan began in those hours. The poppy that grows free and strong, without needing anything, even in the middle of the concrete along the sidewalks and between the hot train tracks. He is haunting, like the desire for freedom and love. Of respect for rights and protection of memory. He is haunting as peace should be. Every day and in every part of the world.

Source: Vanity Fair

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