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Memorial Day is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation’s service. Memorial Day is a holiday that was first observed on May 30, 1868 when flowers were placed on the graves of Confederate and Union soldiers atArlingtonNationalCemetery.

Moina Belle Michael is accredited to the adoption of the silk red poppy as the official flower of Memorial Day. The poppies meaning is the flower of remembrance and has been adopted by the VFW as its official memorial flower in 1922. The idea came to her from a poem that was written in 1915 by John McCrae, called In Flanders Fields. In her own interpretation of the poem Michael also wrote: We cherish too, the Poppy red, that grows on fields where valor led, it seems to signal to the skies, that blood of heroes never dies. Moina Michael had the idea of wearing red poppies to honor those who have died in service to our nation. Michael also sold silk poppies to friends and co-works and donated the money she made to benefit servicemen in need.

Today, veterans at VA medical facilities and veterans homes help assemble the poppies, which are distributed by veteran’s service organizations throughout the country. Donations received from the poppies help many veterans and their families.