The bright red poppy we have come to accept as a symbol of honor to all veterans was originally introduced in the poppy poem written by a Canadian; the use of the poppy as a symbol of veterans was first used there and then in Britain. In 1920 it came to the United States, and to this day is still used by the American Legion, as a symbol to commemorate American soldiers of World War I.
It is now used in many English speaking countries that observe November 11 as a day of war remembrance.
The poppy (Papaver rhoeas) was one the first flower to repopulate on the churned up battlefields of World War I, in an area of Europe known as Flanders. A mention of this phenomenon in a poem about World War I inspired the use of the blood-red bloom as a tribute to blood spilled and lives lost.