WASHINGTON – 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.
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.
"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.