'Knitting Our Warwicks Together' in memory of the veterans of World War I

| 09 Nov 2017 | 06:51

By Roger Gavan
— This Friday we are celebrating Veterans Day, which is also the anniversary of the end of World War I.
The poet John McCrea wrote about the first World War, "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."
If you know how to knit or crochet, or if even you don't have those skills, Warwick needs you to help honor the veterans of World War I by crafting poppies.
This past summer Warwick Mayor Michael Newhard welcomed the Mayor of Warwick, UK, Stephen Cross, and his wife, Christine, to the celebration of our Village's 150th anniversary or Sesquicentennial.
Letters from Warwick, NY, to Warwick, UKAs a result of the continued correspondence after that visit and the celebration of Veterans Day, the Sesquicentennial Committee learned that an important project in memory of the soldiers who lost their lives in World War I had been launched in Warwick, UK, the county town of Warwickshire, England.
This year marks the 100th anniversary of America's entrance into the First World War in 1917. But for the United Kingdom, which was Great Britain and all of Ireland at that time, it was the fourth year of the war.
And by the time of the Armistice, which ended the fighting on Nov. 11, 1918, the Royal Warwickshire Regiment alone had lost 11,610 lives.
On this side of the ocean, 346 soldiers from Warwick served; seven did not return.
A tribute to those who diedEarlier this year a campaign to gather thousands of handmade poppies to make a fitting tribute to those who lost their lives was launched at St. Mary's Collegiate Church in Warwick, UK.
The church is home to the Royal Warwickshire Regimental Chapel.
Next year, throughout October and November 2018, St. Mary's will display all the knitted or handmade craft poppies, donated by members of the congregation and beyond to commemorate one hundred years since the end of the First World War.
Both countries will share in that 100-year anniversary. And handmade poppies are already arriving at St. Mary's from Australia, New Zealand and the United States.
Local effortsWarwick residents have also been invited to participate and their poppies will be among all those displayed.
Albert Wisner Public Library Director Rosemary Cooper and Knitting Our Warwicks Together Coordinator Pat Foxx have set up a display on entrance to the library explaining everything.
They need people to knit, crochet or simply cut felt poppies to be shipped to Warwick, England.
There are poppies already in the jar that various people, especially volunteer Barbara Gaskins, have contributed and all the information about the program, which Warwick 150 is sponsoring, will be at the library.
Library to host community knitting nightsThe Warwick Valley Rotary Club has donated $300 for materials to the Sesquicentennial Committee and everyone, with or without knitting skills is invited to participate.
Kits are available at the library and residents are invited to take one and return the completed poppies to the library before May 2018.
Knit or crochet as many as you would like and use the library's directions or your own.
The Albert Wisner Public Library will also host evening poppies knitting or whatever method sessions, with or without help, on evenings to be announced from January through April.