World War 1
History of Australia
New Zealand History

What is the significance of an Anzac poppy?

Answer

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04/09/2013

It honors the 58,150 Australian and the 16,130 New Zealanders who died during WWI.

Poppies symbolise remembrance. The story goes that, following one of the bloodiest battles of World War I, in the fields of Flanders in western Europe,when the ground was completely churned up and muddied, thousands of red poppies sprang up. The seeds had lain dormant in the soil and, after being aerated with the churning of the soil from the soldiers' boots and fertilised with their blood, the poppies grew abundantly, springing forth new life from death.

This is why poppies are worn on ANZAC Day, Remembrance Day (commemorating Armistice Day) and other solemn occasions when we remember the soldiers who fought or even gave their lives for our freedom.

Another reason poppies came to such prominence in association with World War I is because of how they were immortalised in that most famous poem of WWI, In Flanders Fields, written by John McCrae. This poem is spoken at memorial services everywhere on both ANZAC Day and Remembrance Day.