May is National Military Appreciation Month and Poppy Month. the Auxiliary Post 58 asks that residents wear poppies on Poppy Day on Friday, May 24.
The poppy has a long association with Remembrance Day. The distinctive, red flower became a potent symbols of the remembrance of the sacrifices made in past wars over the decades.
Scarlet corn poppies grow naturally in conditions of disturbed earth throughout Western Europe. The destruction brought by the Napoleonic wars of the early 19th Century transformed bare land into fields of blood red poppies that grew around the bodies of fallen soldiers.
In late 1914, the fields of Northern France and Flanders were once again ripped open as World War I raged throughout Europe’s heart. Once the conflict was over, the poppy was the only plant to grow on the otherwise barren battlefields.
The significance of the poppy as a lasting memorial symbol to fallen soldiers was realized by the Canadian surgeon John McCrae in his poem “In Flanders Fields.” The poppy came to represent the immeasurable sacrifice made by his comrades and quickly became a lasting memorial to those who died in World War I and later conflicts.