Little Miss and Miss Poppy crowned at 1884 Days
At the end of World War I, The American Legion adopted the poppy as a symbol of freedom and the blood sacrificed by troops in wartimes. The use of the poppy symbolically comes from the poem In Flanders Fields, which movingly begins, “In Flanders Fields the poppies blow, between the crosses, row on row,” referring to the poppies that sprang up in the churned-up earth of newly dug soldiers’ graves over parts of Belgium and France . The poem was written by Lt . Col. John McCrae in 1915 after witnessing the death of his friend, a fellow soldier.
The American Legion Auxiliary adopted the poppy as its memorial flower in 1921, and, in 1924, in conjunction with The American Legion, instituted the national Poppy Program to protect the memorial poppy from becoming commercialized by outside interests.
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