The USAA Poppy Wall of Honor – a temporary installation honoring the more than 645,000 American service members who gave their lives in service to our nation since World War I – is back on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. for Memorial Day weekend.
The Poppy Wall of Honor exhibit allows visitors pause and remember all who've given their lives in combat for our freedoms. During its previous appearances on the National Mall, the last of which occurred in 2019 prior to the pandemic, more than 25,000 visitors viewed the highly emotional exhibit.
"Memorial Day is a time for all Americans to pause and pay respect to those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for our country," said Wayne Peacock, president and CEO at USAA. "USAA is honored to return to the National Mall with the Poppy Wall of Honor to help raise awareness of the true meaning of the holiday and provide an opportunity for visitors to remember the 645,000 service members who have died in service to our nation since World War I began."
The Poppy Wall of Honor will be on display from Friday through Sunday on the National Mall between the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and Constitution Gardens Pond, adjacent to Constitution Avenue NW.
Visitors can expect to see:
The Poppy Wall of Honor is 133 feet long and stands 8-1/2 feet tall and contains a two-sided exhibit experience. Visitors will learn more about the true meaning of Memorial Day, the poppy flower, and conflicts since WWI, and also have the opportunity to pause and reflect as they see the more than 645,000 poppy flowers that represent the lives lost in combat since WWI.
The poppies that fill the wall are Veterans of Foreign Wars' Buddy Poppies and The American Legion's Memorial Poppies.
Inspired by the WWI poem, "In Flanders Fields," the poppy became an international symbol of remembrance in 1920 when it was brought forward by Moina Michael, an American professor and volunteer for the American YWCA, during the National American Legion Conference.
Visitors may view the Poppy Wall of Honor starting at 12 p.m. EST Friday, May 27. Full hours of operation will be:
Friday, May 27: 12 p.m. – 9 p.m. EST
Saturday, May 28: 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. EST
Sunday, May 29: 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. EST
In addition to the return of the Poppy Wall of Honor, USAA introduced two smaller Poppy Exhibits in U.S. cities last week. The National Veterans Memorial and Museum in Columbus, Ohio, and the USS Midway Museum in San Diego, Calif., will host the smaller temporary exhibits that offer a similar educational and remembrance experience to the Poppy Wall of Honor on the National Mall.
For more information on the Poppy Wall of Honor or to share your remembrance, visit usaa.com/MemorialDay.
You also can join in the social conversation and share your remembrances with #MemorialDay and #PoppyInMemory.
Reach Julia LeDoux at Julia@connectingvets.com.