Remembrance Day 2014- The Poppy

Remembrance Day 2014- The Poppy

The Origins of the Poppy

Peter Raab

With Remembrance Day just around the corner, the national Poppy Campaign is underway in support of our nation’s veterans and their families.

Millions around Canada don the scarlet red poppy on their lapels for Remembrance Day, showing their support and appreciation for those who have served, fought or died for our nation. The history of the Remembrance Day poppy symbolizes a century-long movement to acknowledge the sacrifice of soldiers around the world.

The link between the red poppy and war dates back to the 19th century. After the battles, once desolate fields became saturated with lime; thriving from this unique addition to the soil, blood-red poppies began to bloom, flowering over the remnants of war and loss.

Nearly 100 years later, Lieut.-Col. John McCrae, a Canadian doctor on the World War One front, observed these blooms and wrote “In Flanders Fields” to document the tragic beauty of the poppy.

Not long after, Moina Michael of the New York City YMCA started to wear a poppy on her lapel in memory of the millions who died in the First World War. The custom spread internationally when others began selling the poppies to raise money for the children of war, and Canada adopted the custom in 1921.

Today, the Poppy Campaign distributes over 18 million poppies worldwide to raise money for veterans and their families in times of need. 

Join the remembrance online and share your sentiments by using #RememberThem, and don't forget to wear your poppy on Nov.11.