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VFW Poppies, Memorial Day and Flanders Field, the U.S and Canada stand as brother and sister.

VFW Poppies, Memorial Day and Flanders Field, the U.S and Canada stand as brother and sister.

I learn something new every day. While writing a post about Memorial Day events in New Milford, CT I somehow ran across the VFW Buddy Poppy. Which of course, led me to more and more.

Those ever present, well knows poppies sold by the VFW outside of grocery stores and shops all over the United States. We know them, we pay for them, we wear them, we have grown so used to them. But why poppies? We can thank Lt Col John McCrae of Canada, and his poem "In Flanders Field", written for fallen friend and comrade, Alexis Helmer. If you have never heard the poem, please take a moment to listen to it. (have a tissue handy)

The first poppies were sold by the VFW to raise money before Memorial Day in 1922. Now referred to as the VFW's Buddy Poppy Program, the money raised provides financial support to state and national veteran's rehabilitation services and other programs. You can read about it here.

I can remember seeing these "Buddy Poppy's" all my life, and yet never knew where they came from, or why the poppy was used. Now when I see the vets selling these I will be sure to buy them and wear them proudly this Memorial Day and always.

VFW Poppies, Memorial Day and Flanders Field, the U.S and Canada stand as brother and sister.

Andrea Swiedler, Realtor, Southern Litchfield County Real Estate

2017 President, Greater New Milford Board of Realtors

2017 Connecticut Magazine 5 Star Realtor


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Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

Litchfield County Regional Office,375 Danbury Rd, New Milford, CT 06776


© Andrea Swiedler 2009 - 2017

 Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest. - Mark Twain

Comment balloon 12 commentsAndrea Swiedler • May 14 2010 11:56AM


Andrea..what a beautiful and touching post ... I love poppy flower beautiful Thank you


Posted by Hannah Williams, Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-953-8818 (Re/Max Eastern inc.) over 8 years ago

Very moving poem/ video Andrea. Thank you for sharing that with us.

Posted by Craig Rutman, Raleigh, Cary, Apex area Realtor (Helping people in transition) over 8 years ago
Andrea, I never knew the story of poppy related to VFW, thanks for sharing that.
Posted by Rita Fong, Realtor - Marion Arkansas Homes for Sale (RE/MAX REAL ESTATE TODAY, Executive Broker 901-488-9590 ) over 8 years ago

Valerie ... My dad was a WWII vet and at every Memorial Day parade he would would proudly wear his poppy while he watched his children march by in the H.S. band or scouts. Your post brings back many great memories. Rick

Posted by Rick Cignoli, Sr. Mortgage Loan Officer (Norcom Mortgage NMLS# 71655 Equal Housing Lender) over 8 years ago


I have a VFW poppy attached to my camera strap ... so all can see it whenever I am taking a photo!

Posted by Richard Weisser, Richard Weisser Retired Real Estate Professional (Richard Weisser Realty) over 8 years ago

Andrea, I did not know any of this, so I learned something new today as well.  Thank you for the info and history lesson :)

Posted by George Souto, Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert (George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages) over 8 years ago
Hi Andrea, it's been a while since I've seen the poppies being sold in our area, not even at the VFW post here in town, which is just up the street. I used to get them and hang them on the rear view mirror of the car becaue of the number of times I would see a Vet in a store parking lot.
Posted by Ed Silva, Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally (RE/MAX Professionals, CT 203-206-0754 ) over 8 years ago

Hi Andrea!
I have always supported the people who so generously give their time to sell the Poppy pins...but I never knew the history!  I will think of you and your lesson from now on when I buy those pins!

Posted by Paula Swayne, Realtor-Land Park, East Sac & Curtis Park -Dunniga (Dunnigan, Realtors, Sacramento (916) 425-9715) over 8 years ago

Hannah, thank you, I love the poppy too. Now it will be even more special.

Craig, thank you for watching!

Rita, until today I didn't either. The things I learn...

Rick, glad I could evoke some happy memories for you. Thanks for stopping by.

Richard, I used to have one on the dashboard of my car, and my mother always had tons of them everywhere. But I never knew why the poppy.

George, thank you for stopping by! Glad to have provided you with some info to fill up the head, LOL.

Ed, I haven't seen them out since last year, I am sure with Memorial Day hot on our heels they will be out again, and I will be getting my poppy!

Paula, thank you. I found the VFW website to be eye opening and very informative.

Posted by Andrea Swiedler, Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties) over 8 years ago

We don't have a very active VFW around here but I was at an event today where they were handing out poppies. I had no idea why or what the significance was.

The very well known Anne of Green Gables series closes with a book named "Rilla of Ingleside" It is set during WWI and never fails to make me bawl like a baby even though I've probably read it 20 times now.

We hear so much about WWII but the heroes of WWI are being forgotten. Thanks for posting this.

Posted by Julia Odom, Chattanooga Homes for Sale (Select Realty Professionals) over 8 years ago

You are right Andrea, we need to have tissue ready every time we hear this. We are taught this poem in school, or at least we were, don't know if they still do. It was part of our Remembrance Day services. Thanks for reminding us.

Posted by Al & Peggy Cunningham, Brokers, Our Family Wants To Help Your Family! (RE/MAX West Realty Inc., Brokerage) over 8 years ago

Julia, My grandfather fought in the Spanish American War, I was just telling a story about him today. Perhaps I will post it later on, it was pretty funny. But he never would talk about it, I have no idea what he did. My uncles were in WW2, they spoke of it often, my dad served during the Korean War, but never left the US. Don't know who in my own family served in WW1, interesting. All those that lost their lives in service to this country are heroes.

Hi Al & Peggy, I was hoping you would see this. I read that it is part of your Remembrance Day services. Funny how the VFW adopted it too, for the poppy's they sell. And think of this, I went through dozens of variations on YouTube before settling on this one. I cried like a baby.

Posted by Andrea Swiedler, Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties) over 8 years ago