We recently celebrated Memorial Day, which is a day of remembrance – of those who gave their lives in their nation’s service. Originally called Devotion Day, then Decoration Day, Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic. The first observance was on 30 May 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery.
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.
She then conceived of an idea to wear red poppies on Memorial Day in honor of those who died serving in the military during wartime. She was the first to wear a homemade poppy, sold some to her friends and co-workers, and gave the money to benefit servicemen in need. Shortly before Memorial Day in 1922 the VFW became the first veterans' organization to sell poppies throughout the nation.