Warwick, NY and Warwick, UK, join hands in celebrating 100th anniversary of WW I Armistice
St. Mary's Collegiate Church in Warwick, United Kingdom, with its display of thousands of poppies, including more than 600 created by residents of Warwick, N.Y.
WARWICK — In England it's called Remembrance Day and on this side of the Atlantic, we call it Veterans Day. But for both nations, November 11, 1918 marks the 100th anniversary of the armistice that ended hostilities in World War I. On that day, the United Kingdom, which was Great Britain and all of Ireland at that time, had been at war for four years. And by the time of the Armistice, the Royal Warwickshire Regiment alone had lost 11,610 lives. The United States did not enter the war until 1917. However, there were 346 soldiers from Warwick who served in that shorter time. Seven who did not return. Last year Warwick Mayor Michael Newhard welcomed the Mayor of Warwick, UK, Stephen Cross, and his wife, Christine, to the celebration of the village's 150th anniversary or Sesquicentennial. As a result of the continued correspondence after that visit, the Warwick Sesquicentennial Committee learned that an important project in memory of the soldiers who lost their lives in World War I had been launched in the county town of Warwickshire, England. Poppy DayIn the United Kingdom, Remembrance Day is informally known as Poppy Day, thanks to the Canadian physician John McCrea, who wrote about the First World War in the poem, "In Flanders fields." Earlier this year a campaign to gather thousands of handmade poppies to make a fitting tribute to those who served in World War I and subsequent wars was launched at St. Mary's Collegiate Church in Warwick, UK. The church is home to the Royal Warwickshire Regimental Chapel. It is also the ancestral church of George Washington. Warwick, New York, residents were also invited to participate. Local effortsA group of volunteers, organized by Knitting Our Warwicks Together Coordinator Pat Foxx and Albert Wisner Public Library Director Rosemary Cooper, agreed to meet periodically to knit poppies that would be sent to England. The Warwick Valley Rotary Club also donated $300 for knitting materials to the Sesquicentennial Committee. This past May, Town of Warwick Supervisor Michael Sweeton, Mayor Michael Newhard, members of Knitting Our Warwicks Together, VFW Post 4662, the Warwick Sesquicentennial Committee and many other contributors assembled at the Albert Wisner Public Library. They were there to attend a brief ceremony as the Rev. Richard Marrano, parochial vicar at that time of the Church of St. Stephen, the First Martyr, blessed 664 hand crafted poppies that were shipped to England by Track 7 courtesy of Cedric Glasper, president of Mechanical Rubber. Both the Town and the Village of Warwick issued proclamations that were also sent to Warwick UK. 'And thank you.'Sesquicentennial Committee member George Arnott received a series of emails and photographs from Warwick, UK, describing the progress of its Centennial Remembrance Day celebration. "Over here," wrote Warwick, UK, Mayor Stephen Cross, "we launched the St. Mary's Poppy Display with a dinner in the church attended by 170 people. In all there were 66,600 poppies, produced, which together present a magnificent display all around the church. I have attached a picture of Christine and I in front of your contribution, which has been attached to a single pillar. Our best wishes to you and everyone in Warwick. And thank you." - Roger Gavan