You may know that the red poppy is the traditional Memorial Day flower, worn and displayed to honor our fallen soldiers. However, do you know why the red poppy was chosen, or how the tradition was started?
It all began in 1915 with a poet and trendsetter named Moina Michael. Inspired by the poem “In Flanders Fields,” Michael wrote her own poem in response.
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.
Perhaps without ever knowing how far reaching the trend would become, Moina Michael was the first to start wearing a red poppy on Memorial Day to honor those who served in World War I. Not only was she the first to conceive of the tradition of wearing the flower, she also sold red poppies to her friends and coworkers and used the proceeds to benefit servicemen in need. Since then it has become a worldwide tradition to sell poppies in order to benefit veteran themed causes.