This practice evolved into the Memorial Day we celebrate today and was merged with the wearing of poppies in the 1915 after the publication of the poem, In Flander’s Field, by Lt. Colonel John McCrae, , following the second battle of Ypres. The “poppy movement” was inspired by the poem, “In Flanders Fields”, written by a Canadian Army doctor named John McCrae. After the Civil War, women’s and religious organizations started the formal practice of decorating the graves of the fallen soldiers and in 1865; the federal government began creating military cemeteries for the Union dead.

However, in the United States, we have our own Memorial Day. A copy of the poem can be found at the end of this blog. Moina Michael is credited as the founder of the Memorial Poppy in the United States. Some of the allied countries started selling replicas of the original Flanders poppy after the Armistice. National Poppy Day broadens a tradition that dates back to the American Legion Auxiliary’s first National Convention in the early 1920s when the red poppy was adopted as The American Legion Family’s memorial flower. Even as an amputee and after 60+ surgeries, he still took me every Memorial Day to stand on that corner of the local department store with the poppies in my hand to pass out as he collected money for his “band of brothers.” It is a memory that I will cherish and one that my children and their children, because of his service, and the service of all veterans, will hopefully never have to know. Remembrance Day or Armistice Day is held on November 11, memorializing the end of hostilities, “on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.” This is a familiar date to all of us in the United States. Her poem, together with her promotion of using the poppy as the official symbol for the remembrance of the fallen, created what is now an iconic symbol of history that many do not know the story behind. While it is still called Remembrance Day in Great Britain, it is now known as Veteran’s Day in the United States.

In Flanders fields the poppies blowBetween the crosses, row on rowThat mark our place; and in the skyThe larks, still bravely singing, fly,Scarce heard amid the guns below. On May 22, wear a red poppy to honor the fallen and support the living who have worn our nation's uniform. Short days agoWe lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow.,Loved, and were loved, and now we lieIn Flanders fields. The origin of the red poppy as a modern-day symbol of Memorial Day was the idea of an American woman, Moina Michael. This practice evolved into the Memorial Day we celebrate today and was merged with the wearing of poppies in the 1915 after the publication of the poem, In Flander’s Field, by Lt. When I first started working here I thought how appropriate it was, remembering as a child when I would go with my grandfather to sell poppies for people to wear on Memorial Day and raise money for the local chapter of the American Legion. Take up our quarrel with the foeTo you from failing hands we throwThe torch; be yours to hold it highIf ye break faith with us who dieWe shall not sleep, though poppies growIn Flanders fieldsLt. Remembrance poppies are worn on Memorial Day and Remembrance Day in honor of those who have lost their lives in combat. She is a Florida native and is also a full time student working on a Bachelor’s Degree in Legal Studies. Col. John McCrae is buried in Wimereux, France after succumbing to pneumonia in 1918. “We Shall Keep the Faith”By Moina Michael, Oh! My grandfather was a veteran of WWII who fought in North Africa and Italy and lost his leg after being shot the day before VE day.

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