In 1920, Guérin traveled to the American Legion’s convention in Cleveland, Ohio, to talk about the idea for an Inter-Allied Poppy Day. After the convention, the American Legion adopted the poppy as its memorial flower and agreed to support the Poppy Day Guérin hoped to establish in the United States.
Guérin went on to organize a U.S. Poppy Day in 1921. The week before Memorial Day that year, volunteers collected donations as they distributed silk poppies made by widows and children who had been devastated by World War I battles in France.
Both the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars’ took on the poppy drive in 1924. Donations collected during the distribution of poppies go to help veterans.
Many other counties have also adopted the red corn poppy as a symbol memorializing service members and others who have died in war. Some countries also recognize a Remembrance Day or Poppy Day. Today, you’ll see people wearing or handing out red poppies in Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Ireland, Great Britain, Ukraine, Albania and Pakistan.