The Poppy: A lasting symbol of remembrance
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.