According to USAA, “The red poppy is a symbol of remembrance for the more than 645,000 men and women who have died defending our freedom since World War I.”
The exhibit has four sides that all together are meant to bring visitors closer to the meaning of Memorial Day, and remembrance.
History of the poppy
One side shares the story of Canadian doctor Lt. Col. John McCrae. He wrote the poem “In Flanders Fields” after a World War I battle. In the poem, a line about the poppies says, “In Flanders Fields, the poppies blow / Between the crosses, row on row”.
Guests will also learn about Moina Michael, “The Poppy Lady”. Michael was an American Teacher that first wore the poppy as a symbol of remembrance.
Wall of poppies
One side uses camera technology to engage visitors. It is an interactive wall of poppies.
“The favorite dimension of it for everyone so far has been the great interactive wall where you move your hands around, it moves a sea of poppies,” Museum Director Keegan Chetwynd said.
As the poppies move, guests are able to read important facts of service members that have lost their lives.
Wearing the poppy
Chetwynd and museum staff can be seen wearing poppy pins on their shirts.
“It serves the role of indicating that we are fulfilling that pledge to remember and never forget what was given in the cause of freedom,” Chetwynd said. “It serves a secondary role, we get a lot of people who ask us what is it? And, it gives us an opportunity to say this is what it is, and how you can participate in the act of remembrance.”
Visit the exhibit
Those visiting the exhibit can use phones for QR codes around the exhibit to find out more information. The exhibit is open until June 14. Visit the Military Aviation Museum website to learn more information and buy tickets.