The Poppy: A Symbol of Memorial Day

Memorial Day, a U.S. federal holiday celebrated on the last Monday of May, honors the men and women who have died while serving in the U.S. military. The origin of the holiday, originally known as Decoration Day, dates back to the Civil War where people would go visit and decorate the gravesites of the fallen soldiers. To this day, the holiday is often celebrated by visiting cemeteries or memorials, hosting parades to honor veterans and military personnel, and spending time together as a family.

The poppy has become a symbol of Memorial Day in modern society. These bright red flowers were said to have been one of the first plants to grow back into war-torn battlegrounds after World War I. The poem “In Flanders Fields,” written by Canadian soldier John McCrae in 1915 also mentions the poppy as a common flower at burial sites. In 1920, the American Legion adopted the poppy as the United States’ national emblem of Remembrance. Today, this flower continues to be a symbol of lives lost, as well as a symbol of recovery and new life.

The poppy flower is a perfect subject for macro photography. The structure and color are delicate, yet intricate. At KelbyOne, we love capturing macro images and making these small details be the star. We have some talented instructors, like Melanie Kern-Favilla and Bill Fortney, who are pros at capturing floral and macro images. In these classes, you can learn how the quality of light and the right gear can create breathtaking images.

Sign up for as little as $9.99/mo. to access Melanie’s class on Breathtaking Floral Photography and a variety of other courses on macro photography from our library. And as Memorial Day also marks the unofficial start of summer, it’s a great time to get out and be inspired by the flowers and nature around you.