Still reeling from the devastation of Super Typhoon Yutu on Saipan and Tinian,
Saipan International School went ahead and marked Veterans Day last Friday.
The school also lowered its flags to half-staff, with three staff members, all whom have served in the U.S. military, doing the honors.
The commemoration, called “Remembrance Poppies,” was done in collaboration with the school’s Rotary Interact Club students. Remembrance Poppies is an annual tradition that marks the end of the First World War. It is more popular in other countries.
“…In Canada, the former British colonies, and in the United Kingdom, it is a very important thing they do every year,” said SIS headmaster Ron Snyder, a retired U.S. Army veteran who served in the Gulf War.
Snyder along with retired Navy veteran April Liske-Clark, the school’s biology teacher, and retired Coast Guard veteran Cary Bertoncini, the school’s English as a Second Language coordinator, led the lowering of the flags at the SIS campus.
Snyder, sharing some of the history of the poppy, said a member of the Canadian military in Belgium during World War I saw poppies growing in between the graves of his fallen comrades, inspiring him to write, “In Flanders Field.”
“To this day, the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and many people in England, Wales, Scotland, Australia, South America, and Canada wear Remembrance Poppies on Nov. 11,” he said, adding that the poem was read for the students and parents and that each attendee of the ceremony received a Remembrance Poppy.