After World War I, the poppy flourished in Europe. The red flowers were commonly seen around the gravesites of fallen servicemembers. The flower is immortalized in the poem “In Flanders Fields,” penned by Lt. Col. John McCrae.
“As the United States commemorates the 100th anniversary of its entrance into World War I, it is only fitting that The America Legion brings Poppy Day to the U.S.,” said Charles E. Schmidt, national commander of The American Legion. “Just as The American Legion was the first organization to adopt the poppy as a symbol of remembrance for the fallen, we are pleased to be the first to formally recognize its historic significance with National Poppy Day.”
In the days leading to National Poppy Day and through Memorial Day, members of The American Legion, American Legion Auxiliary and Sons of the American Legion will be in communities across the country distributing poppies and collecting donations. All donations received as part of National Poppy Day will support veterans, active-duty military personnel and their families with medical and financial needs.
This year, National Poppy Day support was kicked off by The Boeing Company with a $100,000 donation to The American Legion. To learn how you can get involved, go to Legion.org/PoppyDay.
About The American Legion
The American Legion is the largest wartime veterans service organization with 2.1 million members in nearly 14,000 posts in communities across America. Chartered by Congress in 1919, The American Legion is committed to mentoring youth and sponsoring wholesome programs in our communities, advocating patriotism and honor, promoting a strong national security, and continued devotion to our fellow servicemembers and veterans.
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SOURCE The American Legion