National Poppy Day®: Honoring Those Who Served

Written from press release:

INDIANAPOLIS (May 24, 2024) — As Memorial Day weekend approaches, the American Legion Auxiliary encourages everyone to remember the true meaning of the holiday and support veterans, servicemembers, and their families by participating in National Poppy Day® on the Friday before Memorial Day.

National Poppy Day® has its roots in the aftermath of World War I, inspired by the sight of red poppies blooming on the battlefields of France and Belgium. Canadian Lt. Col. John McCrae’s poem “In Flanders Fields” brought the imagery of red poppies into public consciousness. Moina Michael of Georgia vowed to wear a red poppy in remembrance and advocated for its adoption as a symbol to honor and support veterans. The American Legion Family adopted the red poppy as its memorial flower in the early 1920s, beginning a tradition of distributing red crepe paper poppies.

This year, on May 24 and throughout Memorial Day weekend, thousands of American Legion Auxiliary members nationwide will distribute red poppies in exchange for donations. These contributions directly support veterans, active-duty military personnel, and their families, addressing their medical and financial needs. Every cent raised goes to these causes.

How to Participate in National Poppy Day:

  • Donate in exchange for a poppy.
  • Wear a poppy to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice.
  • Share social media posts from ALA National Headquarters @ALAforVeterans using hashtags #NationalPoppyDay and #AmericanLegionAuxiliary.
  • Learn more at

Founded in 1919, the American Legion Auxiliary is a community of volunteers dedicated to serving veterans, military members, and their families. ALA members assist veterans in hospitals, advocate for veteran issues, support therapeutic arts festivals, and distribute poppies for remembrance. The organization also runs ALA Girls Nation and ALA Girls State programs, which educate future leaders about government and civic responsibility. For more information, visit and follow @ALAforVeterans on Instagram and Facebook.

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