Poppy Memorial displayed on National Mall: 'You can't help but be inspired... and sad'

Generations have associated a common poppy flower as a representation of our fallen bravest.

It's a symbol dating back to World War I, starting with the war poem, "In Flanders Fields," published in 1915. It continued to be promoted years later by an American professor, Moina Michael. She advocated wearing the delicate flower to never forget the men and women who lost their lives in battle.

On Sunday, The United Services Automobile Association is teaming up with the Veterans of Foreign Wars to bring life to those memories. The Poppy Memorial is a larger-than-life structure put together on the National Mall. It is 133 feet long and 8 1/2 feet tall. 

A man is seen reflected on a temporary memorial made of over 600,000 poppies ahead of Memorial Day at the National Mall in Washington, U.S., May 25, 2018. REUTERS/Carlos Barria - RC149872B1B0

The United Services Automobile Association is teaming up with the Veterans of Foreign Wars to bring life to those memories. The Poppy Memorial is a larger-than-life structure put together on the National Mall. It is 133 feet long and 8 1/2 feet tall.  (REUTERS)

Fox News’ America's News Headquarters will be live at the memorial from 1 to 2.

The wall is filled with more than 645,000 poppy flowers, each one honoring the soul of a fallen veteran. 

"Each one represents an American serviceman or woman lost in conflicts since World War I. You can't help but be inspired, proud and a little sad all at one time," said retired Vice Adm. John Bird, USAA senior vice president of military affairs.

And while there are constant efforts to preserve voices and memories from the Greatest Generation, Bird emphasized there are brave servicemen and women who are still involved in ongoing conflicts across the globe. 

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Poppy flowers are a symbol dating back to World War I. Starting with the idyllic poem, "In Flanders Fields," published in 1915. It continued to be promoted years later by American professor Moina Michael. She advocated wearing the delicate flower to never forget the men and women who lost their lives in battle.  (USAA)

"We need to recognize the history of this country, both inspiring and sad,” he said. "The fact young men and women will raise their right arm and offer – remember, volunteer – to put their life on the line. Oftentimes that happens. Since WWI, 645,000. And since our country was founded, it's been 1.3 million men and women who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom." 

The temporary memorial will stay in place through Memorial Day weekend. 

Elizabeth Prann currently serves as a Washington-based correspondent for Fox News Channel (FNC). She joined the network in 2006 as a production assistant. Click here for more information on Elizabeth Prann