Congressman John Carter shared the honor of The Red Poppy Capital of Texas in the very place our source flowers grow. As a guest in Flanders, Belgium at the centennial celebration of the end of The Great War, the Congressman placed three ceramic poppies, donated by Mickie Ross, at the grave of the last American killed in World War I. SGT Walter Lang died 15 minutes before the Armistice was signed. The Judge visited several cemeteries, representing just a fraction of the more than 100,000 American deaths, including 20 pairs of brothers buried side by side.
The Congressman and his wife, Erica, were part of a delegation and tour that included many US dignitaries, motorcades through sites in several countries, and a speech from President Trump.
The Congressman was very pleased to bring the special gift. “I know Georgetown celebrates poppies and I mentioned several times that I would like to place them at the graves of our brave soldiers. The local mayor there helped make the ceremony special and everyone in attendance took a photo at the grave. We were all touched to know that the people of France, the Netherlands and Belgium have adopted American graves and decorate them with flags and flowers on birthdays and important occasions.”
He added how honored he was to shake hands with surviving World War II veterans in attendance and he was especially pleased to meet the man who was the youngest soldier at radio headquarters in Europe in 1945. “This man, at the time, had just turned 18. He was terrified when General Eisenhower walked into the room and told them the generals had surrendered. He asked for the youngest man in the outfit to send out the message that the war in Europe is over. He said ‘It is something you, and no one else, can say and you will be able to tell the story the longest.’ And he has been telling it for 76 years.”
The Congressman and his wife also shared dinner with NATO Ambassador and former Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson. “It was a short trip but I am glad to be a part of the largest military community in the world. It is a pleasure to be able to visit the troops and represent the Army around the nation and the world.”