5/31/21 – National Poppy Day
The poppy thrived in Europe After World War I. Beautiful red poppies started growing in the dirt and mud in France and Belgium. Scientists attributed the growth to the soil being supplemented with lime from the rubble left by the war. The red poppy came to symbolize the bloodshed during battle following the publication of the wartime poem “In Flanders Fields.” The poem was written by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, M.D. while serving on the front lines.
On September 27, 1920, the poppy became the official flower of The American Legion family to memorialize the soldiers who fought and died during the war. In 1924, the distribution of poppies became a national program of The American Legion.
Led by the American Legion Auxiliary, each year members of The American Legion Family distribute poppies with a request that the person receiving the flower make a donation to support the future of veterans, active-duty military personnel, and their families with medical and financial needs.
Poppy Day is celebrated in countries around the world. The American Legion brought National Poppy Day to the United States by asking Congress to designate the Friday before Memorial Day, as National Poppy Day. Wear a red poppy to honor the fallen and support the living who have worn our nation’s uniform.