Military personnel killed in service honored with poppy wall

The late May air was sticky as crowds gathered at the National Mall for the Memorial Day commemoration on Sunday....

Posted: May 28, 2018 5:46 PM
Updated: May 28, 2018 5:46 PM

The late May air was sticky as crowds gathered at the National Mall for the Memorial Day commemoration on Sunday.

Just a short trek from the Lincoln Memorial stood a new addition of the Mall -- a transparent wall packed with poppy flowers.

At nearly 9 feet tall and 133 feet wide, the transparent wall was an unfamiliar sight to visitors. But its message and footprint, long as it was, also told an important part of the country's history.

People could be seen quietly reflecting, some talking pictures, while walking past the poppy wall.

More than 645,000 poppies were placed in the wall, every eye-catching red flower signifying each man and woman who gave their life in military service to the United States since World War I.

In addition to the stunning red that was visible on one side of the memorial, the exhibit also included the number of casualties from each war fought by the US over the past 100 years, and various other displays of information about the poppy itself, including its significance in honoring a nation's greatest sacrifice.

Visitors could also virtually dedicate a poppy through kiosks set up at the exhibit, with was on display from Friday until Sunday.

The history of the poppy as an honor

Poppies as a memorial for fallen soldiers date back to the early 1900s, according to the US Department of Veterans Affairs.

In 1915, a surgeon with Canada's First Brigade Artillery, Col. John McCrae, penned the poem "In Flanders Fields," which details a scene of poppies in a field of white crosses, according to the VA. It was in 1922 that the flower officially became the memorial flower for the Veterans of Foreign Wars, or VFW, the VA's Office of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs said online.

Ret. Navy Vice Adm. John Bird, the senior vice president of military affairs for the United Services Automobile Association, which created the exhibit, said in a phone interview that the memorial, driven to the nation's capital from San Antonio, Texas, was "very well received," adding that many people thanked them for the exhibit.

Bird noted that although Memorial Day weekend is thought of by many Americans as a an opportunity to barbecue and spend time with family, it is also important to take time and reflect on individuals who lost their lives in the line of duty.

"Freedom's not free," Bird said.

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 3577966

Reported Deaths: 52798
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles119433321569
Riverside2903253829
San Bernardino2868142952
Orange2616083952
San Diego2610013317
Santa Clara1109111797
Kern103622902
Fresno956771451
Sacramento936781488
Alameda808731244
Ventura77849858
San Joaquin670401140
Contra Costa62818681
Stanislaus56323950
Tulare48086766
Monterey42316329
San Mateo39096521
San Francisco34318422
Santa Barbara32087416
Solano30163164
Merced29195405
Sonoma28222298
Imperial26913638
Kings22091220
Placer19882232
San Luis Obispo19724236
Madera15505214
Santa Cruz14700183
Marin13261197
Yolo12854185
Shasta11045179
Butte10981167
El Dorado9168100
Napa905671
Sutter888698
San Benito577261
Yuba577137
Lassen562319
Tehama510452
Nevada397974
Tuolumne396359
Mendocino382143
Amador346941
Humboldt321933
Lake316441
Glenn223223
Colusa213913
Calaveras191149
Siskiyou177914
Inyo131737
Mono12144
Del Norte10075
Plumas6536
Modoc4594
Mariposa3957
Trinity3725
Sierra1000
Alpine820
Unassigned00
Chico
Clear
39° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 36°
Oroville
Clear
46° wxIcon
Hi: 69° Lo: 49°
Feels Like: 44°
Chico
Clear
39° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 36°
Red Bluff
Clear
39° wxIcon
Hi: 53° Lo: 16°
Feels Like: 35°
Red Bluff
Clear
39° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 40°
Feels Like: 35°
Chico
Clear
39° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 40°
Feels Like: 36°
We've had beautiful weather over northern California today and it will continue through Wednesday before changes begin. Those changes will first involve cooler air and stronger wind, with rain and snow chances following.
KHSL Severe
KHSL Radar
KHSL Temperatures

Community Events