National Poppy Day: Virtual wall of honor
Blooming from battlefield, the Poppy became a national symbol during World War I.
Traditionally, synthetic poppies have been distributed by the American Legion to recognize the lives lost in battle.
“We should remember it’s not just those who gave their lives on the battlefield. Some battlefields are in their minds,” said Jessica Manfre, a military spouse. “There are so many ways these men and women have sacrificed.”
This time of year, members of the military community reflect and share the significance of Memorial Day.
“It’s not just people who passed away on the battlefield, we need to think about their surviving families,” said Manfre.
The USAA Poppy Wall of Honor was created in partnership with The American Legion, USAA, and the Veterans of Foreign Wars to help ensure the sacrifice of military men and women is always remembered.
The Wall contains more than 645,000 artificial poppies-one for each life lost in the line duty since World War I. The red flowers fill one side and historic facts about U.S conflicts fill the other.
The exhibit was installed on the National Mall in Washington D.C., over the Memorial Day weekend in 2018 and 2019. This year, because of the coronavirus pandemic it is only being presented digitally.
On the USAA Memorial Day website, you can view educational resources and you can learn how to dedicate a poppy using the Snapchat messaging app.
“It has history about Memorial Day, the poppy and it gives activities that you can do as an effort, in some small way, of remembrance of the men and women who paid that price,” said Retired Navy Vice Admiral and USAA Vice President John Bird.
Bird says USAA aims to install the physical wall in Washington again next year.