Moina Michael was on duty at the YMCA Overseas Secretaries’ headquarters in New York, when she read In Flanders Fields, a poem by Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae. Inspired by the poem, she vowed always to wear the red poppy of Flanders Fields as a sign of remembrance. It would become an emblem for "keeping the faith with all who died."
Madame Anna Guerin worked for the French YMCA Secretaries when she met Moina and was not only inspired by McCrae’s poem, but also by Moina’s idea of the poppy as a memorial flower. Anna made visits to the French allies from WWI; Britian, Canada, Austrialia and New Zealand, all of whom adopted the Poppy in the 1920’s.
These two outstanding women of the YMCA brought the poppy in McCrae’s poem to life and persevered to create a legacy. The symbol we wear in Remembrance of all soldiers who fought and continue to fight for our freedom.