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VFW Poppies, Memorial Day and Flanders Field, the U.S and Canada stand as brother and sister.

May 14, 2010

VFW Poppies, Memorial Day and Flanders Field, the U.S and Canada stand as brother and sister.

I learn something new every day. While writing a post about Memorial Day events in New Milford, CT I somehow ran across the VFW Buddy Poppy. Which of course, led me to more and more.

Those ever present, well knows poppies sold by the VFW outside of grocery stores and shops all over the United States. We know them, we pay for them, we wear them, we have grown so used to them. But why poppies? We can thank Lt Col John McCrae of Canada, and his poem “In Flanders Field”, written for fallen friend and comrade, Alexis Helmer. If you have never heard the poem, please take a moment to listen to it. (have a tissue handy)

The first poppies were sold by the VFW to raise money before Memorial Day in 1922. Now referred to as the VFW’s Buddy Poppy Program, the money raised provides financial support to state and national veteran’s rehabilitation services and other programs. You can read about it here.

I can remember seeing these “Buddy Poppy’s” all my life, and yet never knew where they came from, or why the poppy was used. Now when I see the vets selling these I will be sure to buy them and wear them proudly this Memorial Day and always.

VFW Poppies, Memorial Day and Flanders Field, the U.S and Canada stand as brother and sister.

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