How the Poppies Became the Symbol of Remembrance Day

Did you ever wonder why people wear poppies during Remembrance Day? While poppy means sleep, peace, and death, wearing of a poppy is a way to honour the soldiers who gave their lives during the Great War.

Aside from visiting the memorials, wearing a poppy is one way to commemorate the brave people who went to war. During Remembrance Day, a moment of silence is also observed at 11 AM.

The poem, Flanders Fields, describes how poppies bloomed on the battlefield. Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, a Canadian war veteran wrote this poem in 1915 to honour his fallen friend.  In 1921, people started wearing a poppy on Remembrance Day.  It was initially made of real flowers, then silk. At present, the poppies worn are made of paper. Later on, all soldiers who perished in wars are being honoured by wearing poppies.

Wearing of poppy also benefits war veterans. A company that produces the poppies worn during Remembrance Day employs veterans, former servicemen, and women. Sales from these items go to different charities that support war veterans and their families.

Aside from the United Kingdom, the poppy is also worn in Canada and France. In the United States, the poppy is worn during Memorial Day.

Different Colours of Poppy

  1. Red – this is commonly worn during Remembrance Day. Wearing a red poppy is a memorial to those who perished in the Great War (now known as World War I), and other succeeding wars and conflicts
  2. Purple – honour the animals that became victims of war. Aside from soldiers, animals such as horses, dogs, and pigeons were also drafted to help in the war. By wearing a purple poppy, we remember the sacrifices of these animals
  3. Black – the black poppy honours the servicemen, servicewomen, and civilians from the black, African, and Caribbean communities.
  4. White – this colour symbolizes the goal to end conflict and war.

There is also no right or wrong way to wear a poppy. We just need to wear it with pride.


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