In Honor of the Fallen on Memorial Day

May 27, 2018


Today, as we honor those who served and pay tribute to those service men and women who never made it home, I’d like to share the origin of those paper poppies you see at Memorial Day events.

After battles scar the earth, poppies are one of the first plants that grow, returning life where there was death. A Canadian soldier noticed this phenomenon during WWI and wrote the poem, In Flanders Fields. An American woman, Moina Michael, was so inspired by the poem that she pledged to always wear a poppy. She then began a campaign to have the poppy recognized as a symbol of remembrance. It was adopted by the National American Legion in 1920. Today, poppies are sold to benefit homeless and disabled veterans.

In Flanders FieldsMemorial Day poppy

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

John McCrae, May 1915