By: Andrea Moyer
Have you ever wondered why November 11th has been designated as Veteran’s Day? What is the history behind this special commemorative occasion? Following are a few facts:
World War I ended on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of the calendar year
Veteran’s Day is different from Memorial Day, which is a day to reflect and remember those who lost their lives in service to their country. Originally called Armistice Day, Veteran’s Day commemorates the signing of the agreement that ended World War I at 11:00 a.m., November 11, 1918.
So Why the Poppy?
According to scientists, the poppy flourished in Europe, particularly in France and Belgium, after World War I. They believe that it was because of the soil becoming enriched with lime from the rubble left by the war. The poem “In Flanders Fields” was written by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD and mentions the flourishing red poppy. The bloom of this flower came to symbolize the blood shed during the battle. One September 27, 1920, it became the official flower of the American Legion and is meant to memorialize the soldiers who fought and died during the war.
A poppy worn in remembrance should be positioned at eleven o’clock on the right side of the person wearing it. The red part of the poppy represents the blood of all those who gave their lives. The black represents the mourning of those whose loved ones did not return home from war. The green leaf represents the grass and crops growing in the aftermath of war and symbolizes future prosperity.
This Veteran’s Day, show your support. Don’t forget to wear a poppy and thank a veteran!