Introduction of A House Resolution Supporting the Goals and Ideals of National Poppy Day

Floor Speech

Date: May 25, 2023
Location: Washington, DC


Mr. CARSON. Mr. Speaker, I rise to re-introduce a bipartisan resolution recognizing and supporting the goals and ideals of National Poppy Day on the Friday before Memorial Day, with Congresswoman Spartz.

The importance of this day cannot be overstated. This bipartisan National Poppy Day Resolution recognizes the sacrifices of America's veterans and fallen service members.

In the last several decades, Memorial Day has become synonymous with the start of summer, and not as it was intended as a time to mourn and remember the U.S. military personnel who have fought and died while serving in the United States armed forces. While the United States has great respect for those who serve in the Armed Forces, we often focus on the living veterans. There are many parents, spouses, siblings, and children who still mourn their fallen service member.

Yes, there are ceremonies to remember those we have lost, such as the ones at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, at the Pentagon, and small ones at National Cemeteries. However, as a Nation we no longer take the time to remember those we have shed blood in the name of freedom.

The poppy flower has long been a marker of respect and a way to raise awareness and support for members of our nation's veteran communities, servicemembers and their families, and the families of those who died in service to their country. Poppy Day is widely recognized by America's allies, especially in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Great Britain, and Ukraine, but is less recognized here at home.

The red-flowered corn poppy became forever linked to soldiers who paid the ultimate sacrifice on the battlefields of World War I, as result of the poem ``In Flanders Fields.'' The poem, written by a Canadian soldier actively serving on the front-lines of WWI to honor his fellow soldiers killed in battle, reads: ``In Flanders Fields the poppies blow, between the crosses, row on row''

Around the world, the red-flowered corn poppy continues to serve as the living symbol of the blood shed by those who served and is worn as a gesture of gratitude and recognition of the sacrifices people have made in service to their country. Many nations incorporate the poppy into their Veterans or Remembrance Day ceremonies.

In the United States, the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars first called attention in the 1920s to the importance of the poppy flower in honoring the fallen. They continue to distribute poppies and promote the importance of a National Poppy Day on the Friday before Memorial Day and Veterans'Day; raising money for disabled veterans.

With wider recognition of National Poppy Day and wearing a red poppy, we honor every servicemember who has died in the name of liberty, freedom, and democracy. Additionally this provides us the opportunity to thank their families, veterans, and current service members for our freedom now and for generations to come. In the words of American Moina Michael, ``And now the Torch and Poppy Red, We wear in honor of our dead. Fear not that ye have died for naught; We'll teach the lesson that ye wrought''

Our Resolution, would begin on May 24, 2024. We should honor past and current members of the Armed Forces of the United States and their families. We should encourage all citizens, residents, and visitors of the United States to join in observing ``National Poppy Day.'' Wearing a red poppy the Friday before Memorial Day--and through the weekend--is an simple declaration of our admiration for and thanks to those individuals who shed blood to preserve freedom.

In this body we have people who have served and those who have lost. At the very least we should honor them.

We invite all Members of Congress to wear their poppy red, support the goals and ideals of National Poppy Day on May 26, 2023 and every year after, to pay tribute to those who have sacrificed for our country--both living and dead. I also invite all of my colleagues to join me in sponsoring this resolution.