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1930s & Earlier / Poppy - Symbol of Remembrance
When Americans visit Canada in the the first days of November, they are often puzzled by the poppies Canadians wear on their jackets. The poppy is a symbol of remembrance that dates to the First World War. It is based upon a famous poem, In Flanders Fields. It was written by a Canadian battlefield surgeon John McCrae, who was in charge of an aid station in Belgium in 1915. McCrae wrote the verse after a close friend of his was killed by an artillery shell. (McCrae himself did not survive the war; he died of meningitis in 1918.) The full poem is below in the comments section. A good many Canadians know it by heart.