SAN ANTONIO – A Poppy Memorial will be placed at the national mall to honor the 645,000 service members who've given their lives to serve their country since World War I.
From May 25 through 27, the memorial will be open to the public daily for viewing from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. ET. It will be displayed on the southwestern side of the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool.
“Memorial Day is the remembrance of sacrifice and gratitude for those who gave their life,” Kreg Lauterbach, creative director of USAA, said.
The structure measures 133 feet long, 8 1/2 feet tall and is filled with more red poppies.
“Each one of these poppies in here represents a mom, a dad, a son, a daughter, a family, a member or a friend,” Lauterbach said.
The pieces have been put together at the Valco Studios.
“Lighting enhances our red of the poppy and gives it a nice little glow. Very elegant,” Maximiliano Valencia, set designer for Valco Designs, said.
Valencia said it took them about a month to put it together.
"If you've ever been in the military, if you've ever lost someone, you kind of bond with it. You bond with one particular poppy,” Valencia said.
Those unable to visit the Poppy Memorial in Washington, D.C. can click here to dedicate a digital poppy.