Memorial Day weekend is fast approaching. Many are anxious to head on vacation, go to the lake or just cookout and enjoy the long weekend. It is the kickoff of summer. However, let’s not forget what Memorial Day is all about. It is a day to remember all of those who fight and have fought for our country. Some groups are handing out red paper poppies in front of grocery and convenient stores to remember those who have lost their lives fighting for our country.
According to an article by Chad Brooks on Business News Daily’s website titled, “Red Paper Poppies Endure As Symbol of Soldiers’ Sacrifice,” the poppies are distributed by the American Legion Authority and the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
According to the article, the tradition of passing out red paper poppies began in the 1920s.
“…Inspired by YMCA Overseas War Workers member Moina Michael. Michael, at age 48, began wearing real red poppies after reading and being moved by the poem “In Flanders Fields,” written on the battlefront during World War I by Lt. Col. John McCrae. The poem, still often recited at patriotic events, references poppies that dot a field lined with crosses marking the graves of soldiers” (Brooks).
Another interesting fact according to the article is that the poppies are created only by veterans. For some, making the red paper poppies helps aid disabled veterans in their recovery process.
So this weekend, help celebrate Memorial Day by donating a couple of dollars to receive a red paper poppy. You know your money will be going to a good cause. According to the article, “Last year, the ALA raised $2.1 million through the distribution of more than 3.5 million paper poppies. All the money goes directly to assisting disabled and hospitalized veterans in each community.” If you can’t donate this year, take the time to thank any military personnel you see …your appreciation will mean just as much!
According to the article, red paper poppies are also distributed on Veteran’s Day and other “Poppy Days” throughout the year.
Have you ever received a red paper poppy or seen them distributed in your community in observance of Memorial Day?