National Poppy Day:
The American Legion has the support of Congress to designate the Friday before Memorial Day as National Poppy Day, a day that encourages all Americans to wear a red poppy as a symbol to honor the fallen and support the living heroes who have worn our nation’s uniform.
After World War I, the poppy flourished in Europe. scientists attributed the growth to soils in France and Belgium becoming enriched with lime from the rubble left by the war. the red poppy came to symbolize the blood shed by those who fought and those who continue to fight for our country 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 line in World War I, to honor soldiers killed in battle.
The poppy became the memorial flower of the American Legion on September 27, 1920 in Cleveland, Ohio.
National Poppy Day is an initiative supported by the entire American Legion Family, which includes The American Legion, American Legion Auxiliary, Sons of The American Legion, and the American Legion Riders.
Each year, members of The American Legion Family, led by The American Legion Auxiliary, distribute poppies with a request that the person receiving the flower make a donation. Proceeds from the sale of items such as jewelry and other themed merchandise also benefit the mission to support the future of veterans, active-duty military personnel and their families with medical and financial needs.