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Highlights for Children: The Poppy Lady

During World War One, thousands of American soldiers lost their lives in battle and would never return home from overseas. Moina Belle Michael, a Georgia schoolteacher, was especially sad because many of her students were among those missing. Moina wanted a symbol to remind people of their sacrifice and courage.

Moina was deeply moved by a poem written by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, a Canadian physician. He wrote it in tribute to those who lost their lives on the Flanders Fields battleground and were buried there.

Moina thought that the red poppy growing between the crosses on the battleground would make the perfect symbol.

But at the time, women weren’t even allowed to vote. How could Moina convince the entire nation and the world to accept her Poppy idea?

With determination and perseverance, Moina put forth a non-stop effort by mailing out thousands of letters. Speaking to countless groups and organizations. Using her very own money for travel, stationary and stamps. All on a schoolteacher’s salary.

And whenever Moina ran into a roadblock she relied on her favorite childhood saying:

“Whatsoever your hands find to do, do it with all your might!”

I know many of you have high achievements~in academics, the arts, and sports~so you know exactly what this saying means.

Whatever you love to do, you do it with all your heart~Just like Moina!

Article published by permission of Highlights for Children, Inc.

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