“Poppy Wall of Honor” returns to D.C. for Memorial Day weekend following pause for COVID

The Poppy Wall of Honor contains 645,000 “buddy poppies” to honor fallen U.S. servicemembers...
The Poppy Wall of Honor contains 645,000 “buddy poppies” to honor fallen U.S. servicemembers from WWI to present day(Gray DC)
Updated: May. 30, 2022 at 8:00 AM CDT
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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - After a two year pause of building a 133 foot long poppy wall in the nation’s capital, USAA has resumed the tradition of honoring fallen soldiers from WWI to present day.

“We can never thank them enough, but we should never forget,” USAA Senior VP of Military Affairs John Bird said. " So the meaning is in us remembering.”

Unlike most memorials in Washington, the Poppy Wall of Honor Exhibit is only in Washington one weekend out of the year. Every single one of the 645,000 poppies represents a servicemember who made the ultimate sacrifice. The USAA began the yearly wall tradition in 2018, but the tradition of poppies dates back to WWI.

“Lt. Col. John McCray observing the poppies growing among all the white crosses, pinned a poem in Flanders Field,” Bird said.

The VFW has distributed poppies to honor the fallen since WWI and said it is important they donate the so called “buddy poppies” for the wall.

“These are made by disabled veterans, so all the proceeds go back to help disabled veterans,” VFA Commander-in-Chief Fritz Mihelcic said.

Mihelcic said the scope of the wall can help provide more perspective on Memorial Day.

“Memorial Day isn’t just ‘let’s go out and have a picnic or a barbeque,’ but it’s really time to reflect about what made this country great.”

This year marked Poppy Wall of Honor exhibit’s first appearance since 2019 when 25,000 people viewed the memorial.

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