The Story behind Poppy
The story of the world-famous symbol dates back to the first half of the 20th century, during the events of World War I. The war was known for its brutality, with many bloody battles etching into history, the most famous being at the Somme, Verdun, and Ypres.
The establishment of the symbolism of the wolf´s poppy was unwittingly attributed to a military doctor, Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae from Ontario, Canada, who served in Europe during World War I. Although he was a military surgeon, he could not become accustomed to the suffering and pain of wounded soldiers. He attempted to capture his own suffering and the pain he felt in a poem, about whose fate he had no idea while writing.
The poem describes the view of soldiers´ graves, among which red poppies sway in the light breeze, as if stained with the blood of the fallen. Those who fell in the battle for freedom, but pass on their legacy through their actions to others who will follow in their footsteps.
The text of this poem was supposed to be lost, as the author himself discarded it. However, a passing officer picked it up and sent it to England, where it was printed on December 8, 1915, in the then magazine Punch. Not only was it successful among readers, but it even gave rise to a tradition that has been maintained by many nationalities not only in Europe but around the world for over 100 years.
November and Its Symbolism
Since 1919, the memory of all those who fell in World War I has been commemorated on November 11, the day the armistice of this conflict was signed. The tradition of a two-minute silence was joined by the symbol of the red poppy in 1921, and the impulse came from the newly founded British Legion, which assists all former soldiers who participated in military conflicts.
Over time, other countries added to this tradition, some with minor variations in the flower that holds greater significance in their history. However, the idea remains the same: a tribute to those who sacrificed their lives in wars and armed conflicts in the name of democracy and freedom. A way to show respect for all war veterans who proudly carry out their tasks in international operations.
These days, poppies fill the streets of many European cities. People of all faiths, age groups, and various professions come together to pay their respects by wearing the poppy on their lapels, to those who decided to risk the most valuable thing they had in exchange for securing peace and freedom in the world, building democratic values, and upholding the good name of our republic on the international stage.
Join the ranks of proud supporters of war veterans, who often experienced hell during foreign deployments. In exchange for a voluntary contribution of any amount, you can obtain the remembrance poppy offered as part of our fundraising campaign. This is part of the annual collection for Veterans´ Day, conducted as a joint project of the Ministry of Defense and Caritas Czech Republic. This project supports the Military Solidarity Fund, which has been serving to support injured soldiers, war veterans, and their families since 2015.