Why the poppy?

During the First World War, towns and farms were destroyed, forests were burned and the ground was cratered and muddy from the bombings and rain.

Despite the wide-spread environmental damage, one thing survived. In spring, thousands of red poppies started to grow everywhere.

When Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae from the Canadian Army saw the poppies in May of 1915, he wrote the poem called In Flanders Fields. To this day, it remains one of the most memorable poems ever written.

In Flanders Fields by John McCrae

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

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