Military History and the Poppy
Close-up of Poppies located at Flanders Field in France.
Abundance of Poppies blooming at Flanders Field in France
After the war in the spring of 1919, on Flanders Field in France, where some of the fiercest fighting had taken place during World War I, poppies began to bloom in abundance. It was on this field that thousands of men had fallen in battle. French women tell the story that the poppy is significant of the blood of the men who fell on Flanders Field. Those who have traveled throughout France since World War I say it is peculiarly true that where the battle was the fiercest and the bloodshed the greatest, the poppies to this day grow most profuse.
Because of the supreme sacrifice made by the men who fell on Flanders Fields, the poppy has become the Memorial flower of The American Legion Auxiliary. It is recognized as the emblem of the high ideals for which American men and women have given their lives and many others suffered injury.
This is why today we pin on a poppy as a tribute both to the dead and living American service men and women. On Memorial Day, we have the opportunity to place this Memorial flower over our hearts in tribute to the sacrifice which they made.