Why a Poppy?
Among all the flowers that evoke the memories and emotions of war is the red and orange poppy, which became associated with war after the publication of a poem written by Col. John McCrae.
The poem, “In Flander’s Field,” describes blowing red fields among the battleground of the fallen on the front lines of World War One.
In Flanders fields the poppies blow,
Between the crosses, row on row
For more than 75 years, the VFW’s Buddy Poppy program has raised millions of dollars in support of veterans’ welfare and the well being of their dependents.
The VFW conducted its first poppy distribution before Memorial Day in 1922, becoming the first veterans’ organization to organize a nationwide distribution. The poppy soon was adopted as the official memorial flower of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States.
Today, VFW Buddy Poppies are assembled by disabled and needy veterans in VA Hospitals.
The sale of Buddy Poppies to VFW units provides compensation to the veterans who assemble the poppies, provides financial assistance in maintaining state and national veterans’ rehabilitation and service programs and partially supports the VFW National Home for orphans and widows of our nation’s veterans.