You may see veterans organizations like the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) asking for donations in exchange for a red paper poppy. But do you know what the poppy stands for?
You may see veterans organizations like the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars VFW asking for donations in exchange for a red paper poppy. But do you know what the poppy stands for?
The flower was mentioned in the famous WWI poem called, “In Flanders Fields,” and was written by Canadian officer Col. John McCrae.
“In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row”
Even though the land where WWI was fought turned bleak and barren, the red poppy managed to flourish and McCrae was inspired by it.
American humanitarian Moina Michael read the poem and decided to make the poppy a symbol of remembrance.
In 1918, she bought all of the poppies at New York City’s Wanamaker’s Department Store and handed them out to businessmen she worked with. She told them to wear the poppy as a tribute to the fallen.
The American Legion started selling red paper poppies in 1921 to raise funds to help disabled and hospitalized veterans. The poppy was also adopted as the official memorial flower of the VFW.
The tradition has also spread to many other countries and remains a symbol of remembrance and hope.
Watch the video above to learn more!
Sources: The Telegraph / British Legion / Veterans Today / VFW
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