Flowers are used to represent all sorts of traditions and symbolism. You see them at weddings, funerals, birthdays, holidays, or given in sympathy to an individual or group. Why do we care so much about flowers? Really the answer is very simple. We like flowers.
Plants have immense power that we rarely realize consciously. Plants make us feel better. Spending time in green spaces and around plants helps our bodies find balance and healing, even when we fail to recognize what it is doing. This makes the fact we like to use plants symbolically all around us.
If you didn’t already know Memorial Day also has a flower associated with it. The Poppy. Poppies are a wildflower that can be found in meadows and fields across the world. When it comes to the association it has with Memorial Day we have to go back several years, approximately World War I to be more precise.
Around this time two women, one from the United States and another from France, were inspired by the poppy to remember the troops and veterans who had worked to defend their countries. Both women used the flowers either fresh, silk, or paper to raise money for their causes to support their national militaries.
The American Georgia professor Moina Michael even wrote a poem in 1918 titled “We Shall Keep the Faith”. You can read the poem here. This poem was in part inspired by the poem, “In Flanders Fields” by John McCrae (1915) who was a Canadian military doctor and artillery commander.