YMCA and the Poppy

Did you know there is a relationship between YMCA and the Poppy?

In 1918, YMCA volunteer Moina Michael, inspired by Canadian John McCrae’s poem, In Flanders Fields, created the custom of wearing a poppy as a symbol of remembrance.

From Veterans Affairs Canada:

“In 1915, Guelph, Ontario native John McCrae, a doctor serving with the Canadian Artillery, recorded this phenomenon in his famous poem In Flanders Fields. Two days before the Armistice, Moina Michael, an American woman from Athens, Georgia, read the McCrae poem and was inspired to wear a poppy year-round in memory of the war dead. Then in 1920, Madame E. Guérin of France visited the United States and happened to meet Miss Michael at the YMCA at Columbia University, where the latter was a volunteer. Madame Guérin then resolved to sell handmade poppies around Armistice Day to raise money for poor children in the war-torn areas of Europe.”