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In Flanders Fields the Poppies Blow

First proclaimed as Armistice Day by President Woodrow Wilson, November 11, 1919 at 11AM signified the end of World War I and was established as a holiday to honor the veterans that fought valiantly. By 1954, President Eisenhower changed the name from Armistice Day to Veterans day to honor and encompass all those who served in the armed forces. The celebration day of Veterans Day has been changed historically, but it is now observed on Nov. 11 regardless of the day of the week it falls.


For European countries, it is recognized as Remembrance Day or Poppy Day; countries such as France and Belgium hold their day of remembrance on the 11th of November while others like the United Kingdom celebrate it on the Sunday closest to the date.

Poppies have since held a special place in Veteran’s Day and Remembrance Day as the war poem, “In Flanders Fields” by John McCrae reference the red poppies that grew over the graves of fallen soldiers as the poppy was one of the only plants to grow on the barren battlefields. Small artificial poppies are often worn on clothing for a weeks prior to Nov. 11 and poppy wreaths are often laid at war memorials. Today, the American Legion Auxiliary distributes crepe-paper poppies in donations around Veteran’s Day.

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