VFW, USAA give out millions of poppy flowers for Memorial Day

Tradition based on poems from World War I
Posted at 6:48 AM, May 29, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-29 10:33:03-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV)--The VFW and USAA have joined forces this year to pass out more than 10 million red poppy flowers for Memorial Day.

The tradition dates back to a poem, "In Flanders Fields," written in Brussels during WWI. The poem talks about poppies bringing life back to a battlefield destroyed by the war.

Since then, the poppy has been a symbol of remembrance to those who have died in wars.

Now, the poppies also help Veterans. The VFW pays vets to help assemble the poppies each year, giving them money to help make ends meet. They also use the money from poppy donations to fund VFW events and services throughout the year.

"I would love to see a buddy poppy on every flag that is on every marker on every tombstone, because of what it represents" says Steve Williams with the VFW.

This year's effort also comes with a website,, where people can post memories of loved ones who died in service. It's also a hashtag, #poppyinmemory, for social media.

Williams says taking part in efforts like these, even if it just means wearing a poppy, is a great way to honor the fallen.

"They'd be happy to know that you stopped for a second, that you remember and appreciate the sacrifice they made so we can celebrate this weekend."