By now, you're sure to know that our beloved store is called Poppies and you've probably seen our logo emblazoned with the bright red, papery petals of the notable flower. We love Poppy flowers for their vibrant red color and the particular sense of memory they have for us and so many others.
While commonly thought of as a Memorial Day symbol, did you know that globally the poppy is recognized throughout the year to honor soldiers?
In many places around the globe, early November brings the symbol of the poppy into bouquets, store front signs, pins and flyers in abundance as a way to raise money for non-profits serving veterans and their families. But why? Why are poppies the iconic flower of choice for such an auspicious holiday? It might startle you to know that the makings of the answer are over 100 years old.
In reports from WWI (and even in sources as far back as Napoleonic Wars) fields where bloody battles raged were said to have later bloomed with waves of red poppies. And in fitting gesture, many authors have noted the bold red color of the poppy flower to symbolize the red blood spilt in sacrifice of others. The author John McCrea famously wrote the poem, 'In Flanders Field' starting it with, "In Flanders fields the poppies blow..." The striking flower serves as an apt metaphor for a deep sense of sacrifice and remembrance.
A major part of the use of the poppy has been for fundraising to honor the families and soldiers who have served in combat and especially to remember those who lost their lives doing so. The American Legion Auxiliary, for example, raises over $6 million annually for veterans, military service members and their families with the sale of the iconic red Poppy pins.
In the U.S., you've likely seen poppies on display in November during these fundraising events - often for military veterans. Poppies and their iconic red blooms are actually even as an international sign for remembrance, especially in a military sense. Everyone from small school children to politicians and monarchs have been seen sporting the bloom on their lapel worldwide in November. In the U.S. and France, the poppy flower is seen most often Nov.11th - Veterans Day and Armistice Day, respectively. And in the UK, the 2nd Sunday of November is known as 'Remembrance Sunday.' All of these holidays serve to honor the fallen and remember the sacrifices made by Veterans and their families.
At Poppies Flower Shop, we're joining the honored history of fundraising by donating 20% of proceeds on November 11th to Youth for Troops, a local organization that serves veterans, active servicemen and women and their families. In addition, we've designed and created our own poppy pins that will adorn all of our bouquets. We're encouraging you to enjoy wearing your pin all throughout the month of November to join us in raising awareness and spreading love to those veterans and military families who have given so much for our freedom.
We hope you've enjoyed learning this little bit about why poppies are the symbol for veterans day and hope you'll pop by Poppies on Nov. 11th to celebrate it with us. We will have some beautiful grab 'n go arrangements made especially for the heroes and veterans that you want to honor available in store.