Why Are Red Poppies Worn On Veterans Day

Why Are Red Poppies Worn On Veterans Day?

On Veterans Day, red poppies begin to appear and you can see some people wearing little red poppies. You might even see a veteran hand out little red poppies for everyone to wear. So do you know what this flower represents? And why are red poppies worn on Veterans Day?

Veterans Day Gifts To Honor Your Loved Ones

It’s so great if you give a small gift to your loved ones on Veterans Day. This is the best way to let them know you are always grateful and appreciate them. Our Veteran shirt list will help you. 

Why are red poppies worn on Veterans Day?

The use of red poppies as a symbol to commemorate war victims began in 1920 in English-speaking countries and was initially used only to commemorate the martyrs of the First World War. Today, they are used primarily in Great Britain and throughout the British Commonwealth to commemorate the dead in all of their conflicts since 1914.

In particular, on Remembrance Day, also known as Armistice Day or Poppy Day, celebrated on 11 November each year, and in the weeks preceding it, The iconic artificial poppy flower is distributed and worn on lapels in the UK and several other countries.

Why Are Red Poppies Worn On Veterans Day
Why Are Red Poppies Worn On Veterans Day?

In Australia and New Zealand, artificial poppies are also used on Anzac Day. These stylized flower arrangements consist of a simple poppy flower, sometimes with leaves. Poppies are also placed at memorials and graves, usually in the form of an artificial poppy wreath, or a wooden cross, or a small star, or a crescent with a single poppy flower. The only artificial red is plugged into the rock or grass.

Today, if you come to the UK in the early days of November, in addition to the delicate red flowers on the elegant lapel, you will see the silhouettes of red poppies decorating the streets. In some large cities, there are even memorial fields lined with crosses with poppies and special messages for those who lie down. In particular, there are times when you will witness a majestic scene in London like 2014 with 888,246 porcelain poppies planted around the Tower of London symbolizing the exact number of British soldiers who died in World War I. 

The Origins of the Poppy as a Remembrance Symbol

Despite its beautiful flowers, poppies are technically still classified as a weed. They are resilient little plants that grow in even the harshest of landscapes – such as the desolate battlefields of Belgium. Although the landscape has been devastated, come spring, red poppies will sprout from the ruins, like tiny beacons of hope.

The first time this image of poppies was taken as a symbol of war was in the poem In Flander Fields by military doctor John McCrea. In the poem, McCrae writes about poppies blooming in some of Flanders’ bloodiest battlefields during World War I.

Why Are Red Poppies Worn On Veterans Day
Do You Know Why Are Red Poppies Worn On Veterans Day?

McCrae’s poem, posted in London’s Punch magazine in December 1915, became famous and warmly welcomed. It was read at countless memorials, used in recruiting efforts and reprinted in numerous publications, including Ladies Home Magazine. This is where Moina Michael, a professor at the University of Georgia, first watched “In Flanders Field.” Unable to ignore that, she vowed to always wear a red poppy in remembrance of those who died at Flanders Field.

Michael found her first cotton poppies at a department store, where she bought some for herself and her co-workers. After the war ended, she decided to make and sell red silk poppies to raise funds for returning veterans. She also campaigned to make the red poppy a national symbol of remembrance. In 1920, she persuaded Georgia’s chapter of the American Legio to adopt poppies. Soon after, the National American Legion accepted and the small red flower officially became the national emblem of the United States on September 27, 1920.

Purchase a poppy and help veterans’ families

The first time poppies were used for charity was to be sold to friends by an American professor, Moina Michael. During this time, flowers were made of silk. It was not until the Poppy Appeal was born to support those serving in the British armed forces and thanks to Anna Guérin’s strong campaigning that the flower became a fundraising symbol of the British legion.

Why Are Red Poppies Worn On Veterans Day
Discover Why Are Red Poppies Worn On Veterans Day

In addition to the red flower being the most common, there are sometimes purple and black variations, where purple is a tribute to animals that have fallen in war, and black to recognize the contributions of the Black, African and Caribbean, while white is for those who want to emphasize the search for peace.

The factory that produces these flowers is also very special. From the beginning, when Anna Guérin convinced the Duke of Haig to finance the project, the factory was located in west London and started with just £2,000 with wound soldiers. In addition to selling factory products, the purpose of this factory is to create an environment where veterans can re-acquaint themselves with daily working life. Today, although most serve only one period, due to greater demand, flowers are produced in 3 different factories and are a source of livelihood and attachment for many veterans.

Why Are Red Poppies Worn On Veterans Day
Why Are Red Poppies Worn On Veterans Day?

In the US, the tradition has evolved a little differently. Americans usually don’t wear poppies on November 11 (Veterans Day), the day honoring all living veterans. Instead, they wear red poppies on Memorial Day – the last Monday in May -to honor the men and women who gave their lives fighting for their country. But don’t wait until Memorial Day to pin the poppy to the chest. National Poppy Day falls on the Friday before Memorial Day when you can support veterans’ services in addition to remembering those who have passed away.

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