Moina Michael
We Shall Keep the Faith

Moina Michael began the tradition of wearing red poppies in remembrance and honor of those who had given their lives for their country.

The year was 1918 and just before the Armistice of World War I was signed. Ms. Michael was working at the YMCA Overseas War Secretaries' Conference. She came across John McCrae's poem In Flanders Field and was inspired by this verse:

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Ms. Michaels wrote her poem We Shall Keep the Faith and vowed to always wear a red poppy as a symbol of remembrance for those who had given their lives in the war.

The American Legion adopted the poppy as this symbol of remembrance of those who gave their lives in war as well as other countries around the world.

We Shall Keep the Faith

Oh! you who sleep in Flanders Fields,
Sleep sweet - rise anew!
We caught the torch you threw
And holding high, we keep the Faith
With All who died.

We cherish, too, the poppy red
That grows on fields where valor led;
It seems to signal to the skies
That blood of heroes never dies,
But lends a lustre to the red
Of the flower that blooms above the dead
In Flanders Fields.

And now the Torch and Poppy Red
We wear in honor of our dead.
Fear not that ye have died for naught;
We'll teach the lesson that ye wrought
In Flanders Fields.

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