The day of Memorial Day is near and everyone can honor the past and present military personnel by wearing or displaying a red poppy.

Since World War I, the simple red poppy flower has been a symbol of military sacrifice. However, National Poppy Day, which falls on Friday before Memorial Day in 2017, was established by an act signed into law by Congress.

The poem inspired the selection of the poppy. “In Flanders Fields,”Written by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae M.D. While serving as a front-line soldier in World War I, Europe. Since then, the poppy is a symbol that raises awareness and acknowledges the sacrifices of military personnel as well as their families.

The American Legion is the largest veterans service organization in the United States. It has nearly 2 million members around the world. In 1920, it adopted the poppy to be the official memorial flower and started a national distribution program in conjunction with Memorial Day in 1924.

“National Poppy Day is a time to honor every member of the Armed Forces who died in the name of liberty, freedom and democracy,”James W. Oxford is the national commander of The American Legion.

“Wearing this symbolic red flower shows your support of veterans for generations to come.”

National Poppy Day can be enjoyed by everyone. Wear a poppie or a poppy themed item such as a pin. You can share poppies with family, friends, and colleagues. If you see The American Legion Family members distributing poppies, accept a poppy and donate.

“Each year, members of the American Legion Family, led by the American Legion Auxiliary, distribute poppies with a request for a donation,”Nicole Clapp is the national president of The American Legion Auxiliary.

“All donations received are then used by The American Legion Family to support the future of local veterans, active-duty military personnel and their families with medical and financial needs.”

National Poppy Day will be observed this year on Friday May 28th.

Use the hashtag #PoppyDay @LegionFamily to share your poppy photos and military stories on social media.

Visit poppydayusa.orgTo learn more about National Poppy Day and to purchase poppy-themed products or donate to The American Legion, click here