Wherefore the Poppy?

Decoration Day, renamed Memorial Day beginning in 1882, was first celebrated in the United States following the Civil War; it commemorates U.S. men and women who died while in the military. One of the most famous parts of Memorial Day, however, arose during World War One.

The practice of red poppies on Memorial Day originated in 1918 with Moina Michael, who was inspired by Canadian John McCrae’s famous poem, “In Flanders Fields” (1915). The tradition spread from the United States to France via Anne Guerin, who poineered the selling of poppies, real or facsimile, as a way to raise money for various causes to benefit veterans and the victims of war. Through her advocacy, the sale of poppies for charitable causes spread to The United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand and Australia.

White poppies are sometimes worn in this context, and symbolize looking forward to peace, rather than back at sacrifice.

About Victoria Janssen

Victoria Janssen’s first erotic novel, The Duchess, Her Maid, The Groom and Their Lover (Harlequin Spice, December 2008), was translated into French and German. Her second Spice novel, The Moonlight Mistress (December 2009), was translated into Italian and nominated for a RT Reviews Reviewers’ Choice Award. Her third novel is The Duke & The Pirate Queen (December 2010). She has also published erotic short stories as Elspeth Potter. Her blog features professional writing and marketing tips, genre discussion, book reviews, and occasional author interviews.
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2 Responses to Wherefore the Poppy?

  1. Leanne says:

    I thought poppies were for Remembrance Day?

  2. Victoria Janssen says:

    Remembrance Day is the British name for the same holiday.

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