USAA salutes ‘those fallen’ this Memorial Day with virtual poppy wall

Poppy is symbol to help remember those having died defending our country

A poppy worn is a hero honored. It’s the universal symbol of remembering those that have died defending our country.

SAN ANTONIO – A poppy worn is a hero honored.

It’s the universal symbol of remembering those that have died defending our country.

But why the poppy?

“Back in World War I, a Canadian army doctor buried his friend in Flanders Field and wrote a poem,” John Bird, Vice Admiral, US Navy veteran and Senior Vice President of USAA, said.

Vice Adm. Bird explains that in that poem, the author wrote about how the poppies blow among the many rows of crosses.

Because of that poem, he said it’s known in many countries as a symbol of remembrance.

It’s through those poppies that USAA has honored fallen heroes on Memorial Day, through a temporary poppy wall of honor on the National Mall near the Korean Way.

The wall is filled with 645,000 artificial poppies, one for each life lost in the line of duty since World War I.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, that event will again be virtual this year.

“So we have a website they can visit, learn about the poppy, the poppy wall, the men and women and the history of these conflicts,” Vice Adm. Bird said.

Vice Adm. Bird says the virtual event encourages online visitors to remember our fallen heroes through social media posts — posting what Memorial Day means using the #honorthroughaction.

He said he hopes the virtual poppy wall will continue to educate the public on the importance of honoring those that make the ultimate sacrifice.

“We as a country need to show how much we respect that and how much we value that give up their lives for us. So it goes to our national character and it’s critically important that we take one day a year to remember those fallen,” Vice Adm. Bird said.

A poppy worn is a hero honored. It’s the universal symbol of remembering those that have died defending our country.

About the Authors:

Sarah Acosta is a weekend Good Morning San Antonio anchor and a general assignments reporter at KSAT12. She joined the news team in April 2018 as a morning reporter for GMSA and is a native South Texan.

Azian Bermea is a photojournalist at KSAT.