100th Anniversary of the Adoption of the Poppy

Poppy Declaration Day 1921
Publication Date 
21 Jul 2021

July 2021 marks the 100th anniversary of the adoption of the poppy as the symbol of remembrance in Canada.

In 1918, Moina Michael, a staff member of the American Overseas YMCA, wore a red poppy as a symbol of remembrance. She was inspired by John McCrae’s poem, “In Flanders Fields.” Michael petitioned the American Legion to recognize the poppy as the symbol of remembrance in 1920.

Anna Guérin, of France, was also moved by the poppy and the poem. Guérin travelled to Britain and Canada in 1921 and convinced the recently formed British Legion and Canadian Great War Veterans Association (a precursor of the Canadian Legion) to adopt the poppy as the symbol of remembrance.

The tag on this poppy reads “Decoration Day 1921” (the original name of Memorial Day in the United States) and “Poppy Lady from France” (a reference to Anna Guérin).

Members of the CME family should remember that Brigadier-General James Melville, an RCE officer of some reknown and our first Colonel-Commandant, is credited with being "The man who brought the poppy to Canada"