Who Started the Memorial Day Poppies Custom?

Julia | 28 - 04 - 2021
Memorial Day Poopies Custom

As Memorial Day approaches, red poppies started blooming around everywhere. You will be able to see the Memorial Day poppies pinned on lapels or hanging near the rearview mirrors. Poppies were often made out of fabrics or crepe paper, which symbolizes the fundraising effort to support our soldiers. Get to know more exciting and heartwarming facts about the red poppy Memorial Day through our Memorial Day poppies history. 

The History behind the Memorial Day Poppies

Poppy Day is celebrated in many countries around the world. Some American legions brought National poppy day to the United States, and they also requested Congress to designate the Friday before Memorial Day as National Poppy Day. On September 7, 1920, the red poppies officially became the national emblem of remembrance. This resilient little paper flower has its roots that run deeply way back towards the memories of soldiers who fought and died for the country during World War I. 

From 1914 to 1918, World War I took a greater toll on humans than any other conflicts. Around 8.5 million soldiers were injured and died during the battle, and it also ravaged Western Europe. From the dirty dirt and mud grew a beautiful red poppy that symbolizes the soldiers’ bloodshed during the battle following the wartime poem “In Flanders Fields” written by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae M.D.

Who Started the Poppy Tradition?
  • A. Alexis Helmer
  • B. Earl Haig
  • C. John McCrae
  • D. All the Above

What Does the Poppy Represent?

Poppies are recognized as the symbol of remembrance and hope for a peaceful future. The habit of wearing Memorial Day poppies was inspired by the poem “In Flanders Fields” written by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, a Canadian soldier, poet, physician, author, and artist. The death of McCrae’s friend Lt. Alexis Helmer during the battle inspired him to write the poem on May 3, 1915. Stuck between the bright sight of red poppies on the broken ground, he wrote this poem. 

What Do the Colors of the Poppy Represent?

It has been thought that the red petal of the poppy represents the blood of the soldiers who gave their lives during the war, the black button in the middle represents the mourning of those soldier’s family members. The green leaf portrays the meaning of hope that how the grass and crops grow well even after the war.

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