As a child, I have vivid memories of my father giving me a fifty cent piece to slip in the opening in the top of the can held by a VFW member. I was given the poppy and I wrapped the wire stem around a button on my blouse. We would attend the parade with all of the others lining each side of the street, it seemed that everyone was wearing their poppies too.
We lived very near Great Lakes Naval Base, so of course the Navy's marching band would be in the parade. Whenever an American flag would come in sight everyone would stand and remove their hats until the flag passed by, often times placing their hands over their hearts. In my minds eye, it was the best parade.
If you see a veterans group selling poppies I encourage you to slip a donation in the opening of the can and wear that poppy with pride.
The idea of selling poppies came from this poem.
Thanks to all who have fought and continue to fight for our freedom.