The Poppy: A last­ing sym­bol of remembrance

Tri-County Vanguard - - REMEMBRANCE DAY -

It’s known the world over as a sym­bol of remembrance for those who have fallen.

The poppy was first in­tro­duced to Canada and the Com­mon­wealth by Lt.-Col. John McCrae, a Guelph, Ont., na­tive and Cana­dian med­i­cal of­fi­cer dur­ing the First World War.

McCrae is best known for his fa­mous poem, In Flan­ders Fields, which he penned in May 1915 on a scrap of pa­per, fol­low­ing the death of a fel­low soldier.

McCrae’s 13-line poem was pub­lished in Punch Mag­a­zine in De­cem­ber of that year, and served as in­spi­ra­tion three years later to Moina Michael, an Amer­i­can teacher.

Michael made a pledge to al­ways wear a poppy as a sign of remembrance.

Then in 1920, a French woman named Madam Guerin, while on a trip to the U.S., learned of the cus­tom.

She de­cided to sell pop­pies as a fundraiser for children in war-torn ar­eas of France.

On July 5, 1921, the Great War Vet­er­ans As­so­ci­a­tion in Canada adopted the poppy as its Flower of Remembrance.

The poppy is still worn as a sym­bol of remembrance for fallen vet­er­ans. The cam­paign also acts as a ma­jor fundraiser for le­gions across the coun­try, which of­ten act as main dis­trib­u­tors of the red flower.

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