DYK In the 1920’s, Madame Anna Guérin was determined to have an international promotion of the poppy as a symbol of remembrance and a means of fundraising?
Inspired by American humanitarian and academic Moina Michael and her poem “We Shall Keep the Faith,” in which she vows to wear the poppy to remember the war dead, Anna Guérin adopted the distribution of the Poppy on Armistice Day as a fundraiser for veterans and those left destitute by war.
Anna had experience in fundraising and had worked with many women’s groups, many of whom were war widows. She recruited women as volunteers to create a network of distribution and collection.
In 1920, she helped organize the commission of 1 million poppies in France which was supported by the British Legion. The poppies sold out, and the British Legion commissioned 8 million more. She then continued to promote the Poppy and fundraising in various other countries.
By 1922, Canada had adopted the tradition and poppies were made by disabled veterans, via the Department of Soldiers’ Civil Re-establishment.
Today the Poppy is a recognized symbol of remembrance for the soldiers and their sacrifices in Canada, the United States, and throughout the Commonwealth nations.
It is the emblem of the Canadian Legion and is proudly worn by Canadians on Remembrance Day.
Happy 100th anniversary to the Poppy!