We have all seen the 'poppy pushers' at the retail outlets the Friday before Memorial Day.  Very politely asking for your to donate to receive a poppy in remembrance of Memorial Day.

I stumbled on the story of the poppy in the most innocent of ways.  I was shopping online (shocker!) for patriotic decorations for my porch.  I saw a 'how to' video on how to make a poppy wreath, so I clicked on the video.  There I found the meaning of the poppy and how poppies came to be the flower of Memorial Day.

According to the American Legion:

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. From the dirt and mud grew a beautiful red poppy. The red poppy came to symbolize the blood shed during battle 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 lines.

On September 27, 1920, the poppy became the official flower of The American Legion family to memorialize the soldiers who fought and died during the war. In 1924, the distribution of poppies became a national program of The American Legion.

Led by the American Legion Auxiliary, each year members of The American Legion Family distribute poppies with a request that the person receiving the flower make a donation to support the future of veterans, active-duty military personnel and their families with medical and financial needs.

Poppy Day is celebrated in countries around the world. The American Legion brought National Poppy Day® to the United States by asking Congress to designate the Friday before Memorial Day, as National Poppy Day.

On May 24, wear a red poppy to honor the fallen and support the living who have worn our nation's uniform.

Wow!  I was completely blown away!  In fact, I'm going to look for some poppies today to honor my cousin's late husband who died in battle in Vietnam, and to honor all of our soldier still in combat zones across the world.

The poem that inspired Poppy Day? Here is is for you to enjoy!

Jeri Anderson