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American Legion Poppy Volunteer

American Legion Poppy Volunteer Club Button Museum
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American Legion Poppy Volunteer button back Club Button Museum
Moina Michael Stamp, 1948
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A red and green poppy with two blue American Legion logos on the left and right. The blue text arches above and below the flower and the background is white.

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The millions of red crepe paper poppies that appear on Memorial and Veterans Days are all handmade by veterans to raise awareness and money for disabled and hospitalized veterans throughout the country. The American Legion Auxiliary Poppy Program was first created in 1921. The red poppy was used as the symbol because of a line that appears in the poem “In Flanders Fields.” This poem was written by Lt. Col. John McCrea, M.D. while he was on the battlefront in World War I.

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below

We are the Dead. Short days ago

We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,

Loved, and were loved, and now we lie 

In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:

To you from failing hands we throw

The torch; be yours to hold it high

If ye break faith with us who die

We shall not sleep, though poppies grow

In Flanders fields.

The poppy became a symbol, not only of the lives that were sacrificed, but also the hope that none had died without cause. 

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