In 1915, during the second battle of Ypres, Lt. Col. John McCrae was burying a close friend, Alexis Helmer, who had been killed during the battle. He saw how poppies quickly grew around the fresh graves, prompting him to compose a poem.
“In Flanders fields the poppies grow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.”