May 25, 2020

• DID YOU KNOW? • Red Poppies & Memorial Day (first posted 5/26/14)

Follow my blog with Bloglovin   How many of you know the history behind the red poppies veterans hand out when you give a donation?
Many people don't and many have probably never thought about it.

"REMEMBER...Freedom has a price
A Poppy, in tribute to all the brave veterans who risked their lives in past and present, so we might have a future.

So, in honor of Memorial Day, I am going to pass on a little info about how those little red flowers and Veterans came together.
You see, it all started in 1915 with a poem written by John McCrea:

"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."

A woman by the name of Moina Michaels responded with this:

"We cherish too, the poppy red
That grows on fields where valor led,
It seems to signal to the skies
That blood of heroes never dies."

This gave her the idea of wearing poppies on Memorial Day, to honor those who have fallen. She began selling them to her family and friends. The money she raised would then be given to those service members in need. Some time later a woman from France, Madam Guerin, while visiting the U.S, heard the story of the red poppies. 

When Madam Guerin returned to France she adopted Miss Michaels idea, she made faux poppies and began selling them. The money was then used for orphans and widows of fallen French service members. In 1921, the Franco-American Children's League was founded; the selling of poppies spread throughout France and Belgium. However, the league disbanded almost a year later. Madam Geurin contacted the VFW, hoping they could help. Just before Memorial day 1922, the VFW agreed to help and became the first veterans group to sell them nationally. In 1924 the selling of poppies made by disabled veterans, known as "Buddy Poppy" program, was started and continues to this day.

So, the next time you see a poppy in the hand of a veteran, remember the people above and give thanks.

**Memorial Day Facts**
  • Memorial day was originally celebrated on the 30th of May. No matter what day of the week it landed on.That changed in 1971 with the inception of the National Holiday Act.
  • 2004 Washington DC held a Memorial Day Parade; it had been over 60 years since the last parade.
  • There are over 260,000 flags adorning the graves at Arlington Cemetery, and since the 1950's the 3rd U.S. Infantry has been responsible for placing and maintaining the upright position of the flags. They patrol day and night for the full three day weekend. 

To learn more about the beginning of Arlington Cemetary, click here... and here..... 

Enjoy your day, 
♡ Tina ♡