Red poppies will be commonplace Saturday in Athens as two groups will don these flowers to honor Veterans Day.
The poppie flower, which has become symbolic of the sacrifices made by veterans in wars, began after World War I in 1918 when Moinia Michael of Athens began the tradition that spread nationwide.
The Elijah Clarke Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution will place 500 poppies in front of Athens City Hall and a group from the University of Georgia will be wearing and selling poppies that day.
The UGA group is raising money to purchase an all-terrain wheelchair for a veteran with proceeds from the sale.
The DAR is commemorating the 100th anniversary of the United State’s entry into WWI.
“Our display of red poppies recognizes and reinforces Moina Michael’s dedication to establishing a remembrance to honor active and veteran military personnel worldwide,” DAR Regent Clare Newcomer said. “Please come and view the display at City Hall.”
Michael was a member of the Elijah Clarke chapter.
Members of UGA’s “The Poppy Project” are helping a veteran this day in the wheelchair effort.
“Each year, the American Legion and the VFW, the Veterans of Foreign wars, they sell poppies and the poppies that they sell are actually made by disabled veterans,” UGA volunteer Marie Mize said.
According to the DAR, Michael had read Lt. Col.John McCrae’s poem “Flanders Fields” and was so touched by the verses, she vowed to always wear a red poppy to remember those who fought in the war. In 1920, the National American Legion adopted poppies as their official symbol.
The Athens-Clarke County Library has displays on Michael and WWI on exhibit during November.