The poppy is the official VFW Memorial flower.
VFW Post 10216 honors the sacrifices of American Service members by selling the Buddy Poppy for fundraising.
Among all the flowers that evoke the memories and emotions of war is the red poppy, which became associated with war after the publication of a poem written by Col. John McCrae of Canada. The poem, "In Flander's Field" describes blowing red fields among the battleground of the fallen. The
VFW was the first veterans' organization to adopt the poppy and develop a national distribution campaign. For more than 75 years, the VFW's Buddy Poppy program has raised millions of dollars in support of veterans' welfare and the well being of their dependents. From the very beginning, Buddy Poppy has received the support of the Veterans Administration and the endorsement and cooperation of all presidents since Warren G. Harding. Today
, VFW Buddy Poppies are assembled by disabled, needy and aging veterans in VA Hospitals across the country and are sold at VFW Posts and their Ladies Auxiliaries. The minimal assessment (cost of Buddy Poppies) to VFW units provides compensation to the veterans who assemble the poppies, provides financial assistance in maintaining state and national veterans' rehabilitation and service programs and partially supports the VFW National Home for orphans and widows of our nation's veterans. In February 1924
, the VFW registered the name "Buddy Poppy" with the U.S. Patent Office. A certificate was issued on May 20, 1924, granting the VFW all trademark rights in the name of Buddy under the classification of artificial flowers. The VFW has made that trademark a guarantee that all poppies bearing that name and the VFW label are genuine products of the work of disabled and needy veterans. No other organization, firm or individual can legally use the name "Buddy" Poppy.
In Flander's Field
By John McCrae, MD (1872-1918), Lieutenant Colonel, Canadian Army
IN FLANDERS FIELDS the poppies blow, between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky, the larks, still bravely singing, fly, scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago, we lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie, In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe, to you from failing hands we throw the torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die, we shall not sleep, though poppies grow, In Flanders fields.