Poppy Memorial with 645,000 red flowers honors fallen service members for Memorial Day

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The World War I war poem "In Flanders Fields" established the red poppy as one of the most widely recognized symbols honoring fallen service members. (Rodney Choice/AP Images for USAA)

This Memorial Day, a massive display on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., honors the life of every service member lost since World War I.

The Poppy Memorial contains 645,000 red poppies, a widely recognized symbol honoring fallen service members, within a translucent box that measures 133 feet long and 8.5 feet tall.

Poppies included in the display come from the VFW Buddy Poppy program, which pays disabled veterans in VA hospitals to assemble the flowers, and the American Legion Family.

In addition to the physical poppies contained within the memorial, there are also on-site kiosks that allow visitors to dedicate a digital poppy to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice. Those who cannot visit the memorial in person can also dedicate a digital poppy online.



The memorial is sponsored by USAA, which had a similar installation at its San Antonio headquarters in 2016.

"The Poppy Memorial visualizes the magnitude of that sacrifice and reminds us all of the price that was paid. We are grateful to the National Park Service for allowing us to display this inspiring and educational exhibit among the permanent monuments, as a testament to the enduring bravery of our men and women in uniform," Ret. Vice Admiral John Bird with USAA said in a news release

The Poppy Memorial is open to the public between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. until May 27 on the southwestern side of the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool.
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