Disclaimer: Not mine, NCIS belongs to Don Bellisario and CBS, just borrowing them for a bit.

Thank you to all those men and women who have served in the past and who serve in the present, we appreciate your service and all that you do.

I realize that the wearing of red poppies is probably more a UK/commonwealth thing but as we found out in season six Tony's mom has English relatives and so she was also probably English herself. This is also why Tony calls her 'mummy' instead of 'mommy', at four he's probably only every heard his mother say 'mummy'.

Spoilers: really slight spoilers to 2x07 'Call of Silence'


Angela DiNozzo was just about to pin her blood red poppy pin on her jacket when her four-year-old son burst into the bedroom followed by a frazzled maid.

"I'm sorry, ma'am! I couldn't stop him!"

"It's quite alright, Melissa, I was just going to get Anthony anyway. Please be sure to tell Victoria that we will be back in time for dinner."

"Of course, have a good day, ma'am," Melissa replied before stepping out and Angela turned her full attention to her son who had scrambled onto the seat in front of the dresser and was now staring up at her with wide eyes.

"Oh Anthony, please try to not get your outfit dirty," Angela said with a sigh as she straightened her son's outfit. She let her hand linger on his still blonde hair, it had been much lighter when he was a baby but with each passing day it grew darker and Angela supposed that her little boy would have his father's darker hair when he was older as opposed to her lighter blonde.

"Mummy, why do I have to wear this?" asked a young Tony as he tried to squirm out of her reach.

"It's a lovely outfit; don't you like it, Anthony?"

"No," replied the little boy sourly. The sailor outfit was uncomfortable and kind of itchy.

"Well, I like it," Angela said as she fixed his hair, "and you know who else would like it?"

"Who?"

"Grandpa Daniel, he was a sailor in the Royal Navy," the young mother said as she picked up her poppy pin.

The little boy seemed to think about that for a while before he finally nodded, seeming to accept what his mother had said. He watched as his mother pinned an identical blood red poppy pin his outfit with fascination, not quite sure what to make of the flower.

"Mummy?"

"Yes, Anthony?"

"Why are we wearing flowers?"

"To remember."

"Who?"

"All of those who've served."

Tony frowned at that, served what exactly? "But you said that's why we have to go to church today."

"We go to church and wear the flowers to remember."

"Okay," Tony replied willing to accept that explanation for now.

--

After his mother died Tony stopped wearing the red poppy pin and going to church on the eleventh of November, it was something his mother had insisted they do but at eleven years old Tony still wasn't sure on the why. It wasn't until he had spent one whole year at Rhode Island Military Academy that he started to get an inkling about the importance of that particular day when a veteran came to talk to them. When he started working at various police stations he met fellow officers who had been former soldiers, sailors, coast guardsmen, marines and airmen and then he started working at NCIS and Veteran's Day took on a whole new meaning but it wasn't until he met Ernie Yost that Tony really got it. He had liked the older man and even after the case was over the two kept in touch. So that Veteran's Day Tony took out the red poppy pin that his mother had given him all those years ago and pinned it his jacket.

"Hey, mister, why do you have that red pin?"

Tony looked down at the small boy who couldn't have been any older than six. He had just come back from a visit to Arlington Cemetery and what was fast becoming the saddest section of the cemetery, section 60.

"It's a red poppy," he told the boy.

"Why are you wearing it?" the young boy asked as he craned his neck to get a closer look at the pin.

"To remember," he replied echoing the words his mother had told when he was four.

"Remember who?"

"Those who served and those who serve."

"Like my Daddy?"

"Yup, just like your daddy."