This year, National Poppy Day is May 28. On that day, Americans are asked to remember the sacrifices made by veterans while they were protecting our freedoms.
American Legion Auxiliaries across the nation pass out little red paper poppies in May as a symbol of remembrance and hope for a peaceful future. They are worn in a buttonhole or on a label as a show of support for the Armed Forces.
The red crepe paper poppies are handmade by veterans as part of their therapeutic rehabilitation and distributed in the community. The flowers were adopted by the National American Legion as an official symbol in 1920.
In the past Ronald Reagan Post 283 Auxiliary members have offered them up at the farmers market, CVS or other locations in Pacific Palisades exchange for donations that go directly to assist disabled and hospitalized veterans. Covid-19 has made distribution more difficult this year.
The idea for the paper poppies is traced back to Moina Michael, who after World War I read the poem “In Flanders Fields,” written by Canadian physician Lt. Col. McCrae. These small flowers were the first to grow in the soil from soldiers’ graves in the Flanders region of Belgium.
Please share the poem and the history of poppies with your children to help honor veterans and their efforts to preserve freedom.