PARKSTON, S.D. (KELO) — Drive past the school in Parkston and something will catch your eye: hundreds of hand-crafted clay poppies.
Parkston School District Art Director Colleen Mette took on the project with students after being inspired by a past art installation in London.
Not only did students make flowers, but they also learned about the history of poppies and Memorial Day.
“I wanted to show them what the poppies actually mean, not just a flower given to them at a store,” Parkston School District Art Director Colleen Mette said.
The red flower became the national emblem of remembrance following World War one.
Kids K-12 played roles in the project.
“There’s families out there and people that really miss their family. And these people fought for their lives to save us,” Parkston student Hadley Digmann said.
The display includes about 675 clay flowers.
“It’s quite touching to be honest with you,” Hafner said.
Tom Hafner is the Junior Vice Commander of the Department of South Dakota Veterans of Foreign Wars.
He calls the project an outstanding gesture.
“I think we need to remember those that volunteered or ended up serving in the military, and it’s really important to remember those that died fighting for what we have today,” Department of SD VFW Junior Vice Commander Tom Hafner said.
And for Metter and her students, this patch of poppies is one way to do that.
The local VFW helped gather donations from the business community to help fund the project. The display will be up until June 5th. The flowers will then be available to members of the public.