Why Poppies Appear on Veteran’s Day

Honoring All Who Served

November 11th is Veteran’s Day in the US, but some Americans may not know that it was originally called Armistice Day and celebrated the end of WWI. Hostilities of World War One, also known as the Great War, ended on Nov. 11, 1918. In 1954, the US changed the name of the holiday to Veteran’s Day.

The difference is between Memorial Day and Veterans Day is the former began in 1865 to honor the fallen of the Civil War, and later the fallen of all our wars. Veterans Day honors our vets, whether living or dead.

Poppies are handed out by veterans on Nov. 11. The fallen of World War One were buried where they died in France and Belgium, on muddy battlefields. Later poppies grew in these fields and became associated with the holiday.

Canadian soldier, John McCrae, wrote a famous poem entitled “In Flanders Fields” which he discarded due to dissatisfaction with what he wrote. His friends saved the poem and later that year it was published in the British Punch. This photo shows the entire poem.

In Flanders Fields poem

Inscription of the complete poem in a bronze book at the John McCrae memorial at his birthplace in Guelph, Ontario. Photo by Lx 121 – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=8455795

I’m glad his friends recognized the worth of the poem.

My father and brother both served proudly in the US Air Force. I’ll be thinking about my dad today.

Happy Veteran’s Day!