To Honor and Remember: The Inspiring Story of Moina Belle Michael
Updated: Jan 16, 2021
At the age of 15, Moina Belle Michael was already teaching school. She went on to graduate from Columbia University. Later, while a professor at the University of Georgia, she taught a class of disabled veterans after World War I.
She saw in her classroom the urgent need to raise funds to help and honor veterans. Professor Michael developed the idea to sell artificial poppies to remember those who gave their lives in service for their country.
Her idea came from the poem, In Flanders Field, by John McCrae:
In Flanders fields the poppies blow Between the crosses, row on row...
Millions of people began wearing the poppies on days of remembrance, such as the American Memorial Day. Professor Michael dedicated the rest of her life to helping veterans. By the time of her death in 1944, the poppies had raised more than 200 million dollars for the physical and mental well-being of returning war veterans.
To this day, the poppies are a symbol of all we owe to our veterans and all those who have so sacrificially served their country. Thank you.
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The Poppy Lady by Barbara Elizabeth Walsh and Layne Johnson
A portion of the book's proceeds will support the National Military Family Association's Operation Purple®, which benefits children of the U.S. military.
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