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REVIEW & OUTLOOK: May 25, 2012

What Monday Means

A Memorial Day Tradition Renewed

Kudos to Jason DeSena Trennert for starting a campaign to bring the poppy back to Wall Street. On Tuesday, Mr. Trennert and his colleagues at Strategas Research Partners will be wearing red crepe-paper poppies and also sharing them with clients.

He’s trying to renew a great tradition. Once upon a time, before Memorial Day inspired thoughts of a weekday at the beach, it marked an opportunity to remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of America. The poppy became a symbol of remembrance and gratitude for departed soldiers after World War I and the publication of the 1915 poem “In Flanders Fields.”

Written by Canadian army officer and physician John McCrae after he had witnessed the horrific carnage at Ypres, the poem begins with the words, “In Flanders fields the poppies blow between the crosses, row on row.”

It concludes with a message from the honored dead: “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.”

Nearly a bloody century later, Americans have infinitely more reasons to remember and to be thankful for all who have since died in the defense of liberty.

“Last year, I resolved myself to bring the poppy back to my little corner of the world,” says Mr. Trennert. It’s a worthy reminder of what Monday really means.


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Investment Strategy Viewpoint
May 11, 2012

Bringing the Poppy Back to Wall Street

By Jason DeSena Trennert

To make a long story short, I travel around quite a bit and on my travels to the U.K. and Canada I would occasionally see men and women wearing red poppies. Through complete cluelessness or stupidity, I had never learned or had forgotten that these were worn on Memorial Day as a remembrance of those who have died in our nation’s service. The practice takes its origin from the poem In Flanders Fields, written in 1915 by John McCrae:

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.

Candidly, I find it somewhat ironic that I’ve seen the practice observed more abroad than here at home. Perhaps it’s because we have the day off, but it’s a pity. Last year, I resolved myself to bring the poppy back to my little corner of the world. I’m buying 1,000 to give friends and clients and colleagues. Please let me know if you’d like me to send you one. They’re only 16 cents a-piece so I’ll consider it an honor if I need to buy more. I’m going to encourage all of my colleagues here at Strategas to wear them on the Friday before and the Tuesday after Memorial Day.


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